Archive for May, 2010
Newfoundland Hockey Talk has become the largest online discussion forum for Newfoundland and Labrador hockey. It’s a site built on rumors, speculation and stories that are spun by fans, hockey enthusiasts and so-called insiders. It’s become the focal point for senior hockey fans across this great province and there’s no more passionate fans than those of the West Coast Senior Hockey League.
There’s no denying that many of the things that take place here on Newfoundland Hockey Talk can be dismissed. There are no standards that this site has to live up to, it’s not a newspaper, it’s not held to the same journalistic integrity as established media sites.
Still many people choose to criticize the site, the stories that members publish, the rumors they talk about and the tales that are spread.
Players deny that they are members of Newfoundland Hockey Talk. Coaches deny that they read things being published by fans. Executive members deny paying any heed to the rumors. Referees have been instructed to not post on the site.
Yet at the end of the day, Newfoundland Hockey Talk is the site for hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador. “Insiders” publish tidbits of accurate information about what’s happening with teams. Team meetings are called to discuss rumors and plan strategy in how to deal with rumors.
Talk to the owners of Newfoundland Hockey Talk and they will tell you this site is a thorn in their sides at times. They have had to give members cooling down periods, resorting to banning members as a last resort and at times visit lawyers to deal with threats of being sued.
With millions of pages views each month, Newfoundland Hockey Talk is a force to be dealt with in Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey.
Regardless of countless attempts to discredit the site, to criticize its operation or to “call out” the most visible operator of the site – the site continues to grow in popularity.
Nothing upsets the teams involved in the West Coast Senior Hockey League more than when rumors of backroom happenings, disputes, gossip, rumors and the like hits the pages of Newfoundland Hockey Talk.
Why? It is very simple. No one likes their dirty laundry aired in public.
Whether it is the Allen Cup incident with the Clarenville Caribous, the Royals perennial poor performance, the Wings disappointing run in 2010 or the Cataracts player woes a few years back – the teams in the West Coast Senior Hockey League find themselves unable to control what is being said about their organizations, players, coaches and executives and this upsets them.
People send emails, cell phone video, copies of emails, private messages and all kinds of information to the owners of Newfoundland Hockey Talk just to prove they have the inside scoop about what’s going on with the teams. Whether it be a stick swinging incident in the Caribous/Royals brawl, slashes by fan favorite (and most hated) Deer Lake’s Darren Langdon or goalies tearing a strip off their coach because he got pulled from a game, things get sent to Newfoundland Hockey Talk.
Fans, players, coaches and executive members are quick to come to the defense of their teams when the supposed “rumors” hit the pages of Newfoundland Hockey Talk. It spills into the discussion board and you end up with executive members berating kids in private messages, the Newfoundland Hockey Talk site being called a “joke” and its owners continually trashed with colorful profanities.
All teams and hockey organizations, not just those of the West Coast Senior Hockey League have to realize that Newfoundland Hockey Talk should be embraced. It is a mechanism to reach all their fans with minimal effort. It is a site that can be used to build relationships with fans, to discuss rumors, to make official announcements and to deal with the unflattering issues head-on.
The next time that you as a fan, player, coach or executive member think that it is acceptable to tear a strip of someone in private, call someone a joke, idiot and emphasize those points with profanities, remember it’s not Newfoundland Hockey Talk developing a bad reputation, its you and your organization and the team that you represent that pays the price.
Don`t be one of the select few that ends up being banned, remain respectful and professional. Hockey as whole in Newfoundland will benefit.