Welcome back, Pittsburgh hockey fans.
Pittsburgh Hockey Digest will turn one year old on Oct. 6, and while we’ll wait another two weeks to blow out the candles (candle?), I have some exciting updates on how we’re adding to our coverage for the second season.
We’re still going to be covering everything that’s great about amateur hockey in Pittsburgh and that will include a whole lot of Robert Morris men’s and women’s hockey, the PIHL and midget major hockey, along with the exploits of those Pittsburgh-born and -trained athletes that have taken their careers elsewhere.
That, and every other fun Pittsburgh hockey story we can get our hands on. We’re just going to be doing a whole lot more of it and in more places than before.
First off, I’m glad to say that photographer/videographer/podcast producer/RMU women’s hockey writer/scotch drinker Brian Mitchell (@PHD_Mitch) is back for a second season, as are RMU men’s hockey writer Gary Heeman (@GHeemanUSCHO), Johnstown-based high school and NAHL writer Calem Illig (@CalemIllig) and utilityman and taco enthusiast Parker Hurley (@ParkerHurley).
The first way we’re expanding is the depth of our coverage. But there’s no way I could do that alone. Editor Michael Waterloo (@MichaelWaterloo) will take a lot of the workload off my shoulders and let me be in the rink more, which is where I want to be.
We’ve also added photographer Jenn Hoffman (@JenHoffman93) and features writer Andrew Wisneski (@arwisneski) to the Pittsburgh staff to give us even more coverage of RMU and the other interesting stories close to Pittsburgh.
Jenn and Andy have already made their debuts on the site this month. You can see Jenn’s first Photo-Jenn-ic photo essay on the RMU men’s hockey golf outing here. Andy led with an in-depth feature on RMU women’s hockey captain Amanda Pantaleo.
Next, we expanded the map. Way up in Boston, Stacey Miller (@spinmewrite) will provide a Pittsburgh perspective from the Northeast as she follows the local stories that have made their way to the East Coast.
Sonya Minner (@sonyajean26) will focus on the USHL and the Youngstown Phantoms, but will also provide PIHL coverage and more from Mercer County.
Based in Altoona, Jarrod Prugar (@jprugar26) will cover stories from the central part of the state, including more dedicated coverage to Penn State hockey.
Give our contributors a follow. They’re all hard workers and I’m really looking forward to the new, bigger staff we’ve built. We’re not done expanding yet. If you’re interested in coming on board, shoot me an e-mail (saunders1407 at yahoo.com).
The other thing we’re looking for is sponsorships, in two styles. The first is the traditional form of web advertising that you’re probably familiar with — banner ads, sponsored features, social media mentions, podcast live reads, etc. etc. If we could find some local businesses that would like to uniquely connect with our hockey-crazed audience, all the better.
The second thing we’re doing is in October, launching a Pittsburgh Hockey Marketplace page, where instructors, skills coaches, retailers, hockey camps, skate shops and more can advertise. We want to be a hub for the Pittsburgh hockey community and we think helping those that serve that community can be a big part of it.
Again, if something there catches your interest, drop me a line. We’d love to hear from you.
Finally, I’d like to thank all of the readers and listeners that made year one such a success for us. I really didn’t know what to expect when we started this venture and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
Here’s to year two and we’ll see you in the rink.