Saturday, 30 November 2019

What The Future Holds

The image to the left represents, as of yesterday, the number of articles I've published on Hockey Blog In Canada. It's a rather big number that kind of crept up on me, but it also represents a large swath of time over the last twelve years that has seen me do a lot of special things, go to some rather unique places and events, and has lead to some fantastic opportunities. I will never take these for granted, but significant milestones deserves a little reflection.

As I peer into the reflecting pool and as I watch time march on, time the one resource of which I constantly find myself wanting more and never having enough. In looking at this aspect of my life, the question of "when do I stop" lingers in the back of my mind. I know that writing about hockey has changed my views about hockey thanks to reading more books, talking to more people, and learning about the game, but I feel I have a lot more to learn about the game that I love. Would I pay attention to it as closely as I do without writing about it? Would something else fill the void if I decide to stop writing?

HBIC has led to me having a radio show and radio broadcasts of hockey games. It has led to me getting to talk to authors of books that I hold in high regard and the ability to read said books thanks to some generous publishers who send me books to read and review. It has led to guest spots on CBC radio, trips to faraway cities to watch hockey games, opportunities to meet players and work with teams and organizations, and so much more. I cannot thank everyone in this article for these amazing opportunities, but know that I am grateful that you've given a one-man writing team who scribes a goofy hockey blog a chance to experience some incredible moments.

Perhaps the one thing that I have always been grateful for more than anything else is the great hockey community that stops by here to read my crazy rants and silly articles. While there aren't many comments made on most of my articles, the fact that there seems to be a steady readership from across the world pleases me in that I'm always shocked that someone wants to read my words. 4500 articles have generated some 2.8 million page views according to the stats page on this blog, and I'm truly grateful for each of those visits even if it's just for five seconds before you say, "This dude's crazy" and search somewhere else for the information you seek.

In full disclosure, I actually don't know if that qualifies as a pageview under Google's terms today, but I'm grateful just to land on Google's radar when people are searching for hockey information.

I've been asked a number of times why I don't do something to make money off HBIC, and I've always felt that if I were to monetize this blog I would be sacrificing what I feel is the most important part of any blog in the readership and community that visits. Would it be great to make some money for my thoughts on the game? Sure, I'd be lying if I said differently. But the problem is that I'm not an expert or insider, I have no credentials in any part of the game, and I'm likely never going to have a job within any hockey organization that would justify charging anyone for my thoughts. As it stands, I write this blog for my love of the game and, I hope, your shared love for this game if you visit regularly, and there are no plans to change that model.

So what does the future hold? I actually don't know. I do know that I'll likely stick around for a bit longer because I still have a vested interest in the game. I want to see the game change for the better when it comes to inclusion, I want to see women's hockey get the recognition it so duly deserves along with a stable professional league that pays its players, at the very least, a livable wage so that hockey becomes their primary jobs as opposed to a paid hobby that often costs them money. I want to see players suffering from concussions and concussion-related issues taken care of by the hockey community so that they can get the help they need to have full, symptom-free lives. There are lots of things I still want to see, but only time will tell if they happen before I finally hang up the keyboard.

4500 becomes 4501 when I hit the publish button. Like time, I'm going to keep marching forward right here with more thoughts on the game of hockey. I'll hope you'll continue to join me.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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