A hockey journalist's blog catches its breath
t has been an interesting week on my end, and in considering this site, well, interesting on that front as well. Normally I'm as plugged into the news sphere as one can be — not a bad thing for what I do — but, big events being what they are, last Wednesday was a day to forget about the latest happenings in Kyrgyzstan or on the Nascar circuit. It was a day to graduate, wearing a funny gown and putting an end to six years of post-secondary education by shaking Peter Mansbridge's hand and drinking far too many beers with classmates like Anders and Pevans.
Besides, I figured I was safe. The news could go on with out me. It was only one day. And considering the NHL labour strife had been hopelessly mired since... well, since the last time I cared to check... the chance something would happen on the one day I wasn't paying attention seemed fairly remote.
Alas, no. My own publication dropped a bombshell of a report that set our newsroom (sans me) and the hockey world atwitter. They could have at least waited for me.
The news: That salary cap the NHL and its PA had been agonizing over? It's in the bag.
Or so said the Globe's David Shoalts. Many in the mainstream media and hockey blogdom alike have questioned the accuracy of the report, but I don't doubt the sources involved are genuine. Just as with The Hockey News' reports earlier in the year that erroneously stated a deal had been made, it all depends on how solid your sources are. As a reporter, you're not going to get anyone involved to go on record and say something of significance, so what we're left with — frustratingly so from the sounds of fellow bloggers — is the words of 'anonymous sources.' Unfortunately, in sports journalism as of late, they've become the bread and butter.
The interesting aside to all of this is that, even assuming the salary cap numbers are determined, the two sides are, by all accounts, still a ways from reaching anything resembling an agreement. The it's only a matter of time sentiment, however, continues to prevail.
In terms of big stories, the salary cap news proved to be one of the biggest this week at the Globe. Front page treatment, and even a Saturday column from editor-in-chief Ed Greenspon, all trumped up the scoop. From my perspective, as a hockey aficionado who got into this business so that reading tsn.ca at work was considered commendable, it's refreshing to see NHL hockey playing a prominent part in the news of the week.
Now if only we had games to write about.
James Mirtle is the owner, operator and designated lunatic of this blog, and as of Wednesday, he has a piece of paper that says he's a journalist. Be afraid.