National Hockey Now is proud to introduce our new beat writer Nate Brown and our newest chapter of the Hockey Now network, Chicago! By the end of the week, National Hockey Now will be in 17 NHL cities with professional beat reporters, columnists and a full hockey-loving staff of journalists ready to cover every inch of the league, including the Chicago Blackhawks.
Nate comes to us from the blogosphere and for the last two years with Detroit Hockey Now, where he worked under industry stalwarts Kevin Allen and Bob Duff.
From Nate Brown:
Perhaps the greatest analogy I can give for this new writing endeavor is when former Chicago Blackhawks great Marian Hossa signed in 2009. After missing a Stanley Cup championship by one game–to his former team in Pittsburgh–Hossa left Detroit after one year. He chose to sign with the up and coming Blackhawks.
Turns out he’d be the final piece for the young team. He’d go down as one of the biggest reasons Chicago captured three Stanley Cups in six years.
For Hossa, the signing at the time just made sense.
Now, I find myself like Hossa: when it makes too much sense, you jump at it. This is why I’m helping to launch Chicago Hockey Now. This nearly life-long resident finally realizes it just makes too much sense to write about the hometown team.
Covering the Blackhawks After Growing Up A Detroit Fan
Now for the confession. I grew up in the Chicagoland area a Detroit fan. Many school days and years were spent arguing with passionate Blackhawks fans. The funny thing was how many friendships were forged as a result. So too was a love of the sport.
With this latest turn of events, I have to believe the hockey gods are having a good laugh.
The first seven years of my life were in Michigan where hockey is a way of life. But as my fandom formed, it was the Blackhawks who dominated the rivalry.
It’s one thing to have a favorite team and be immersed with other like minded fans. It’s a whole other to grow up in an area where your favorite team is the enemy. You learn quickly to bond over the sport in general and should the inevitable conflict occur (1992, 1995, 2009, 2013), it’s best advised to go to the mattresses until the war ceases and a victor is awarded.
Then, as the old tune goes, it’s back to the good old hockey game. Without ever moving here, I’m not sure the passion for the sport would have taken hold like it did. As a result, I followed the Blackhawks just as closely as the Red Wings.
The first game I ever attended was at Chicago Stadium. The ancient, legendary barn that shook during the Anthem and when the home team buried a goal. Igor Kravchuk won it for the Blackhawks that night. Though my Michigan roots remained strong, I was unabashedly in love with the sport of hockey. I have been ever since.
The opportunity to write about an Original Six in one of the best markets in the country–it just makes too much sense. I spent over a year writing for Detroit Hockey Now. Now, I have the chance to cover the team in my own backyard.
At Chicago Hockey Now, we’re storytellers as well as writers. We want to bring you unique stories and angles that aren’t always out there. Like anything else, it will evolve with time. Some things will work. Others not so much. But the passion for the sport and covering the team will be evident.
We appreciate your support and readership. Here’s to a new writing adventure in one of the best hockey markets in the world.