Monday, January 6, 2014

Winterhawks: veteran needed for playoff drive

Lots of talk about the trade deadline, which is this week.  Several years ago I floated a trade for Gregg Drinnan - and his response was that he'd love to work here in Portland.  The problem with that deal is we have no beat writer to send the other way, and journalistic prospects are hard to come by these days.  That, and Portland has no 1st or 2nds for the next 3 years.

I live in a town with three local papers that cover the Winterhawks, but none of them have a beat writer or cover them full time.  During those 11 win years, I used to read the 2 paragraphs that the Tribune would put out, twice every week.  Sometimes during the playoffs, Scooter will dig up an article from The Columbian.  The best coverage we get is from the Oregonian: which consists of a blogger as well as another blogger who hosts gameday discussions.  I love both these writers, but they are not unlike you & me - they have day jobs, and do it out of the goodness of their own hearts.

To be perfectly honest: that's why do this blog - there seems to be a void there.   We need a beat writer to put me out of business.

Drinnan is the first thing I read every day.   Or at least he's the first thing I read when he's writing, and for the last little while he's been busy with more important things than junior hockey - helping his wife Dorothy recover from a much needed kidney transplant.  We should always remember that there are things more important than the game, even though many of us forget that from time to time.  I know I certainly do.

This dude has been around for a long time.  He's been covering the WHL basically as long as there's been a WHL, and it shows.  He spent time co-authoring a book: Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos, which covers a tragic event that every hockey fan should know about.  Joe Sakic walked away.  Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka and Brent Ruff did not.

The future of newspapers has been turned upside down by the internet.  Many publications with runs approaching the century mark are falling on hard times, and the Kamloops Daily News is simply the latest.  Folks are having to get creative to continue with their journalism, and I'm sure that Drinnan will land on his feet.

The traffic meter on his blog shows 4.7 million page views.  Writers like this are a national treasure, and we are fortunate to have had access to his work for this long. The news about the paper closing broke today, so the future is wide open.  I'll continue to read Drinnan as long as he's available, and you can't keep a good man down.

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