Does Access Kill Blogging Creativity?

(Disclaimer: This is not us taking out an attack on Fanhouse again.)

Ever since sports blogs rose to prominence, around the point where hockey was coming back from the work stoppage, the debate over what sort of access hockey bloggers have has raged between MSMers, bloggers, fans of both forms of writing, and everyone else with an opinion.  The fact is, some blogs are going to get access and some aren’t.  Fanhouse and Puck Daddy and team-specific ones have that opportunity and should take it.

That said, Puck the Media is not one of those blogs that should have access.  We are not a blog that seeks to give you the latest breaking trade info, the scores from last night, or even tell you why the Red Wings are 0-2 and the Avalanche are 2-0.  We could, but we’d be just another in a cast of thousands doing so.

Frankly, we’re not as smart, funny, or as knowledgeable about the game itself to the point where we feel we could speak with any authority about it.  But we are getting a comm. arts degree at a liberal arts school and New Jersey, and we love the hell outta’ hockey, so we used those notions to create this site.  A lot of people love just the idea that Puck the Media exists, and honestly, if we didn’t run it, we’d beg the bejesus out of whoever did to let us help out.  That’s how much nerdy stuff like this gets us going.  That said, we shouldn’t have any access in terms of press passes, etc.

Some blogs should though.  But some blogs aren’t using them in a way we think is most informative.  Some have spent it obsessing over the Phoenix thing long after it’s over (Mirtle…), some have used it to spout inane trade rumors (Uh, not linking to it, you know who) and some… well some post interviews like the one Chris Botta did with Avalanche coach Joe Sacco a few days ago.

Chris Botta is a great guy, friend to the blogosphere in all cases, and a pretty darn good writer himself.  We’re real happy that he’s landed on his feet with Fanhouse, which includes the blogglomerate sponsoring the insanely terrific Islanders Point Blank, which was more fun to read than it was to watch an Islanders game last year.  But his interview with the Avalanche coach is one for the ages in how boring, paint-by-numbers and disappointing the questions are.  Some examples:

Were you aware that so many people picked you to finish last in the West?

That’s okay. If anything, we’ll use it as motivation. I can tell you there isn’t a single person here who thinks this is a last-place team. One of our biggest themes in our meetings is that we are going to surprise teams. I really believe it.

What do you hope to accomplish this week in practice before your seven-game road trip begins Thursday?

We’re spending a lot of time working on our play away from the puck. Especially with so many young players, we are a work in progress. There’s always teaching to be done.

…………..oh, I’m awake!  Sorry about that, ellipses.  The point is, this could be just as easily done (and probably is done) by someone like Adrian Dater, or another beat reporter or even an Avs’ blogger.  It really serves no place in a general NHL blog like Fanhouse.  As we’ve opined before, the folks are already finding the interviews from Kukla’s Korner, or maybe Illegal Curve.  That’s not debatable.  It’s the blogospheres job to avoid interminably boring stuff like this and go outside the coverage.  Otherwise, what’s the point of blogging at all?

Featured Programming on NHL Network Next Week

Monday, October 12th

7:30PM Off the Ice: Chris Pronger, Jeff Carter, James van Riemsdyk
8:00PM On the Fly

Wednesday, October 14th

6:00 1974 Stanley Cup Film
6:30 1975 Stanley Cup Film
7:00 LIVE: Penguins vs. Hurricanes
9:30 On the Fly

Thursday, October 15th

7:00 LIVE: Sharks vs. Capitals
9:30 On the Fly

Friday, October 16th

6:00 Relive the Magic: 1999 Dallas Stars
7:30 Off the Ice: Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Backstrom, Jonas Gustavsson
8:00 On the Fly
10:00 Qwest Tour: USA vs. Canada (Women’s Hockey)
1:00AM On the Fly

Saturday, October 17th

6:00 Pioneers: Harry Howell
6:30 HNIC Pregame
7:00 LIVE: Rangers vs. Maple Leafs
9:30 On the Fly

Sunday, October 18th
8:00 How Swede it Is: Blues vs. Red Wings – Stockholm 2009

Your Morning Music Breakdown