I got a call last Thursday morning from senior writer Mike Brophy, asking if I wanted to go for lunch.
Red flags, air-raid sirens and “last minute of play in this tenure” alerts should have gone off immediately because “Broph” – as he insisted I refer to him on his first day on the job 16 years ago – was on vacation. Heck, it’s tough enough to get him to come into the office when he’s on the clock, never mind when he’s enjoying his five-week summer healing retreat.
Somehow, mired in my own world, I was oblivious to what was imminent…until he arrived at the office about an hour later, shut my door and sat down. That’s when I knew Broph’s days as one of the leading voices and faces of The Hockey News were drawing to an end.
If you haven’t heard, Broph is leaving us at the end of next week to join Rogers full-time. He’ll be doing more TV work for Sportsnet, hosting a radio program two days a week and, ahem, writing for a competitor’s website.
Naturally, we were saddened by the news. Broph has broad-based appeal with our audience and his contributions will be dearly missed. His departure creates a void on our team in terms of leadership, camaraderie and humor, too. The man knows how to tell stories and make others laugh (but that’s a blog/column for another time).
On a personal level, it stings because Broph is a very close friend, a sage advisor and a sounding board.
Life, however, goes on. And while we may not unearth another Broph immediately, the challenge of replacing him also presents us with an opportunity.
For starters, like an NHL team that ranks high in Future Watch, we have an abundance of young talent at THN and we’re excited as they continue to grow into stars.
At the same time, our brand name gives us the ability, and credibility, to attract established writers and hockey personalities to lend their voices to our mix.
And that’s where you come in. We’d like to know whose work you’d like to read in the pages of The Hockey News and web pages of thn.com.
We’re viewing this as a clean sheet of ice; we’ll consider every name, from veteran hockey writers and columnists, to broadcasters, to former players and executives. If there’s someone out there you feel would enhance our product, let us know.
Add a comment below and debate the merits of potential contributors; or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance.
Jason Kay is the editor in chief of The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears every weekend.
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