In my head, I’ve known for a while that I wasn’t going to be able to keep doing the job for much longer. It’s not that I love the Oilers less or that writing has lost its luster, but my professional and personal life now take up more time from my day and my ability to produce content has been restricted to the point where I can no longer deliver what this site and its community deserves. So after almost 5 years since I started writing for Hockeybuzz, I have to call it the end.
I would like to start by saying a huge “Thank You” to Eklund and Eric who have allowed me to have incredible range of freedom all these years. This is a fantastic site to write for and I appreciate the opportunity I was given when I inherited the Oilers community on here. It is a privilege to write for such a large audience. And speaking of that community, you guys have kept the comment sections…interesting…for a long time. It was *almost* always fun to see the conversations you were having. Some of it even related to hockey! I would also like to thank the greater Oiler Blogging community, because it was a blast to meet so many of you over the years and your feedback as well as friendships have been important for me.
What I loved most about covering the Oilers was that the passion from the fanbase was there. The role of the blogger in the Edmonton Hockey Media discussion is still as vital today as it was a decade ago. While other markets moved to embrace these outside voices into the mainstream, Edmonton is still firmly entrenched in a kind of unending 1996 kind of landscape. The team, the local papers, and the local broadcasters have a deep-seeded mistrust of analytics and critical thought. It’s all blocked shots and character before talent and process. The Oilers are one of the few teams that still refuses to credential writers from blogs and, as you can gather from their operation, it’s a gong show behind the scenes too.
There is still plenty of room in Oiler Media for dissenting opinions, critical thinking, and biting prose. The Oiler blogger is the only one who can’t have their access cut for speaking too harshly about a player, manager, or coach. Everyone else tiptoes past the truth but we are free to speak.
If I’m proud of anything I’ve done as a writer here, it’s knowing that I didn’t stop questioning people in power. That goes for powerful team officials as well as powerful narrative crafters who have long abandoned their credibility to get a taste of the inner circle. I’ve been hardwired to question authority and I hope anyone who red this blog regularly knows why it’s necessary to do so. Nobody deserves the benefit of your doubt. Nobody. Feel free to give it as you wish, but there isn’t a single person who should get it because of the title they possess. Make them earn it on a continual basis.
I am not abandoning Oiler fandom or anything dramatic. I’ll be around. I just won’t be occupying this space. Whoever takes my place will do a fantastic job I’m sure. I just wanted to say thank you all for your readership and continued support…or even your sporadic support! I’ve been proud to write for HB and it wasn’t easy for me to admit that my time was done. It is. I am.
Follow me on Twitter @Archaeologuy