Saturday, December 01, 2007

Hockey Night in Canada open thread

I've been getting a lot of comments and emails on this, so here are the details: The blogger segment on HNIC tonight will run between 6:30 and 7 p.m. EST as part of the 'Inside Hockey' feature.

Who knows if the portions with me in it make it past the editing room, but I think this is a pretty significant piece for anyone in the media or the blogosphere (which includes a lot of readers here). I got the sense from Elliotte Friedman's questions that he's taking a long look at the press box debate from both sides, something that puts me right in the uncomfortable middle.

I'm going to be out for dinner and won't be near the site tonight, but feel free to offer any thoughts on the segment or today's games in the comments.

UPDATE I'll have more thoughts on Sunday, but here's the piece itself:



At 6:48 p.m., December 01, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

Haha, Ron McLean just pulled your site up on CBC. Enjoy the traffic! :)

At 6:49 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's it?

"There's James Mirtle. Look at that, Hockey Night in Canada - he's talking about us!"

Heh heh.

At 6:49 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous Sheldon said...

So Ron likes Tom Benjamin, and uses that site to get to yours... Nice:)

Good job James. Keep the news coming.

At 6:50 p.m., December 01, 2007, Blogger The Dyce said...

great to see you on HNIC!

At 6:51 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm out here in San Diego, California and saw the segment. You got a shout out and your blog's front page made it on HNIC. Take a bow, James. People living in non-traditional hockey markets here in the States know about you now.

At 6:51 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous FrankieHab said...

MacLean and Friedman were fairly complimentary of the blogosphere. Elliote talked about blogs "filling the gap" of information that he may have missed in the mainstream media. Pretty good piece. They'll definitely have a repeat on the online player in the coming week.

At 7:00 p.m., December 01, 2007, Blogger Kent said...

Congrats James! Maybe with all this increased traffic you can get some of that $550 Prime Rib at a Leafs game... And they say goaltending is the Leafs biggest problem. Anyways, it was a good feature, very complimentary and positive (I watched the Caps bloggers with envy) and a good motivation to wannabe bloggers to keep at it.

At 7:22 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous Gare said...

Not like HNIC discovered Mirtle et al ... the Christian Scientists were all over them ...

In the hockey world, a face-off between bloggers and old media
Gare Joyce
Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
994 words
16 November 2007

Many sports fans have long believed that anyone could be a sportswriter - that anyone could sit up on press row, forgo cheering, and type up a few deep thoughts and pithy observations about the games professional athletes play.

These days in Washington, D.C., that widespread belief is being put to a test. To many sportswriters, it's a scandal. To the owner of the Washington Capitals, it's the future.

Press-box seats that had been reserved for newspapermen in seasons gone by are being assigned to bloggers. A reporter from the Washington Post might find himself sitting between the gentlemen from On Frozen Blog ( ) and Puckhead's Thoughts ( ).

That chill in the air isn't just the Verizon Center's air conditioning turned up on high.


The Capitals bloggers haven't squeezed out sportswriters who have covered the National Hockey League. "I went down to Washington in April to get a sense of what was happening in the press box," Toronto-based hockey blogger James Mirtle says. "It was deserted, even with a handful of bloggers in the box."


At 8:17 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

That was pretty neat. Too bad anything they filmed with you hit the cutting room floor, but they still mentioned you in a very complimentary way. And they mentioned the Globe as well.

At 9:08 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous Danny Tolensky said...

I captured a video clip of the segment where you were mentioned by Elliotte. Feel free to use it on your site if you'd like..


At 9:41 p.m., December 01, 2007, Anonymous Gustafsson said...

Thanks for the quick work on the YouTube capture. DirecTV killed the feed between the 2 and 7pm game keeping us from seeing it in the states. We've used it on our blog now,


At 11:12 p.m., December 01, 2007, Blogger Baroque said...

I also thought it was a good piece.

The best point made was the way blogs can be used to avoid missing news, because many bloggers each covering a small facet of the sport that is of the most interest to them manage to blanket the sport fairly well from many different viewpoints.

At 1:42 p.m., December 02, 2007, Blogger gwyshynski said...

Good piece, and I think bringing Kevin Allen in on the conversation was a smart decision. He's an important bridge between the dinos in the PHWA and the alt hockey media.

I do wish JP would have said the obvious, which is that bloggers do have acountability: To their readers, who are going to be quick to smell the BS if the blogger decides to play fast and loose with the facts -- just like they do with professional journalists.

I spoke with Elliote and Jeff Marek on HNIC Radio on Friday in a preview for this story, and two things really struck me:

1. That there was genuine shock on the CBC's part that the bloggers in Washington weren't cheering or booing during the Caps game against Florida. I don't know if it's distrubing that the media expects to see that, or refreshing that the alt media can finally move past that slur.

2. That the notion of traffic as the standard for credentials has traction in the MSM; yet when I mentioned that any blogger can get traffic with the right amount of scandalous Pam Anderson and Lindsay Lohan images, I think they saw the dangers in that.

An entire piece on hockey blogging without a single mention of Dwayne Klessel or HockeyBuzz by name. Too corporate? Too mainstream? Too embarrassed to bring him into an otherwise well-intentioned conversation?

At 2:19 p.m., December 02, 2007, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

Good stuff.

We have the story on AOL now
Great to see 2 of FanHouse's bloggers get some airtime in this piece.

Greg, let's be thankful that THE FRAUD was not mentioned in any way, shape or form. He doesn't deserve any extra traffic.

James still owes me a drink of my choice, so he can use the extra money for that. A 30-year old Scotch would be nice

At 6:19 p.m., December 02, 2007, Blogger Scotty Hockey said...

Its great that the blog was mentioned but I thought it was a terrible piece that pretty much discredited a huge amount of the blogosphere. CBC came across as a bunch of dinosaurs just now noticing this big thing called computers and the fact that they hold information on them. Plus, as much as you all loathe Ek, his site sees some of the highest traffic. But it didn't matter as they only spoke about blogs that either were officially credentialed or were associated with MSM. There are tons of other great blogs out there that they pretty much lumped together as undesirable because they were done by fans. I want to clarify that this isn't sour grapes on my part because my blog is new, but for it to discredit so many people who write such great stuff just because they blog from the stands or their couches bothered the hell out of me.

At 6:36 p.m., December 02, 2007, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

I thought it was an interesting piece, and I think Tom Benjamin is a great introduction for those just checking out blogs for the first time. Tom will throw them a lot of red meat and get them coming back.

GW, it is pretty interesting that the CBC was shocked there was no booing or cheering from bloggers in the press box. That is my only problem with the Islanders blog box, that it may reinforce those "fanboy" stereotypes. Have fans wear jerseys, cheer, and write passionately about the game in the blogbox. But also allow a blogger to cover the game in a professional manner with the regular media, and draw a clear distinction between the two.

Nice of HNIC to mention San Jose, who have allowed me and Ryan Garner to cover the team on our blogs, and also that the Anaheim Ducks are considering allowing a blogger on board (they have credentialed bloggers for the rookie tournament). Anaheim has a new Director of New Media this season, Adam Brady, who has a blog up on their official site.

And not really a blog, but the Los Angeles Kings have cooperated with the online community at, one of the most passionate groups of fans in the league.

Great job HNIC!

At 7:57 p.m., December 02, 2007, Anonymous eklund said...


Congrats to all involved. It was truly a great piece and very encouraging to see those folks speak on camera about the sites they talk of often off camera. The sites spoken of are widely read in the hockey world, but rarely discussed in the media. You can see the walls starting to come down thanks to all the hard and tireless work of writers like Lyle, Eric, Paul, Greg and James.

And of course credit goes to the Ted, the Caps and Isles who have taken the taboo public and teams like Philly, Buffalo, San Jose, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Nashville, St, Louis who along with others have been allowing access to internet writers in the post-lockout NHL.

For you all to get recognized by HNIC is no small deal, but most overdue.

congrats and cheers,


At 9:58 p.m., December 02, 2007, Blogger gwyshynski said...

Scotty -

First off, allow me to do the pimping and point folks in the direction of your blogging on the CBC piece:

"...they only spoke about blogs that either were officially credentialed or were associated with MSM."

Hard not to argue with this point, although the focus of the piece was on what the Caps and Islanders are doing and not on the alt hockey media in general. And it should be noted that Japers Rink and Liz Chang from On Frozen Blog had been credentialed by the Capitals before they had any MSM affiliation.

I don't think fan writers should be ignored in this conversation, especially when more than a few have built impressive readership without any MSM support. I'd love to see a follow-up involving some of those bloggers who have gone on the record about NOT wanting or needing credentials to do what they do.

The bottom line for me in this matter is always that they *should* have the chance to, even if they never take the teams up on it.


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