Canucks and Beyond

Friday Thoughts: Hockey Media, Stalkers, Sean Avery and Doping

08/05/2011 at 6:12pm EDT

1. This may seem strange coming from someone like me, but after nearly a decade of experience in this medium, here is what I believe to be an absolute fact: while blogs and other social media have been a huge boon to hockey coverage, they are also one of the worst things that ever happened to hockey journalism.

This is likewise true of news coverage in general, but unlike the news where there’s some concern about trying to maintain standards, in sports journalism—a field considered less important to some because of the nature of the topic—sports journalists don’t seem to lament the loss of quality to the same degree. And I think we’re all the poorer for it.

In my ideal world, the trained journalists of the world would worry less about ‘competing’ with the lowest common denominators of the web, and worry more about setting a standard of writing—and ethics—for us all to aspire to. At the very least, the quality of the discourse would improve.*

2. Say what you will about Sean Avery (and lord knows, everyone has an opinion) but the guy certainly injects a lot of color into into what often seems to be a beige sport. That’s not always a good thing, but it’s not always bad, either. That being said, his alleged actions in last night’s brouhaha would seem to be a low point.

It makes you wonder, will Avery every find a balance between his interesting qualities and his loony ones? Between his talent and his sideshow antics? You’d think 31 years old would be old enough to have figured this out by now.

3. Thanks to a pointer from a fellow tweeter, I was reading The Active Stick‘s observations about the strange search terms that lead to her blog. Some classics there. Curious, I looked at my own recent keyword search terms. Aside from the ever-present sexually-laced stuff (“boob flasher” is a biggie because of this post) my first and last name appear to be the biggest search terms leading people to my posts this week.

A weird internet stalker? An old friend? A bill collector? Or maybe I’ve just been Googling myself in my sleep…

4. If the NHL ever conforms to Dick Pound’s world vision and manages to concoct an effective anti-doping policy, I wonder how many NHLers will fall. Or is the NHL as squeaky clean as some claim that it is?

I’m not being a smartass here… I’m really curious about the outcome if there were more rigid testing standards. Do you think NHLers dope as much as, say, MLBers?

*note: I’m not meaning to paint all sports journalists with the same brush by any means; just saying that the industry as a whole seems to be trending in a bad direction.

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