My final day at DobberHockey won’t pass without more than a few goodbyes and thank yous…
I first contacted Darryl back in 2006 when I stumbled upon DobberHockey while putting together my own fantasy hockey projections (I wrote a free fantasy hockey preview for the Hockey’s Future message boards that year). I messaged Dobber to let him know how useful I found his Guide, and I think I also mentioned how I would love to write for him (although I can’t remember the specifics at this point).
I was in the middle of my undergraduate degree at the time, and was looking for a creative outlet I could enjoy outside of my accounting and finance classes.
My first column, from January of 2007, included Daymond Langkow and Jonathan Cheechoo. Six years is a long time in fantasy hockey.
Fast forward those six years. I have written over 400 columns for the site (and edited a heck of a lot more) and a similar number of the daily ramblings posts. I have made many great connections in the hockey and sports industry thanks to the kick start DobberHockey gave me, appearing on numerous radio stations and in print magazines and papers, and I have made some great friends from the terrific community that still forms the backbone of this website today. I have met with players, team owners, and many members of the hockey community largely because of my work at DobberHockey. I write for the Vancouver Canucks, I have written for the Dallas Stars, Defending Big D, The Hockey Writers, Canucks Army, and a vast number of hockey blogs and websites largely because of DobberHockey.
I (and Dobber will agree) take a lot of pride in how we have grown the website organically. We have had some fantastic partners (Justin Goldman, Frozen Pool, the Fantasy Geek guys, among others), and equally fantastic readers and members. Although DobberHockey sees way more traffic than it did five or six years ago, it still has the same community feel. There aren’t many arguments that veer off topic. We have a fantastic group of members that self-police the website and provide amazing and consistent advice and feedback to the new members. At the end of the day, we are all united by our passion and interest in hockey (and fantasy hockey in particular, of course).
I haven’t met many of you in person, but I feel like I know a lot of you on a personal level (especially those who e-mail me on a daily basis with fantasy hockey tips – I still do my best to answer e-mails!). I am not sure of my level of involvement with fantasy hockey for the next little while, but I will definitely pop on to the website whenever I get some free time.
I am leaving the website in capable hands. Dobber will continue to bring on talented writers looking to get their names out there in the hockey world. Glen Hoos puts together fantastic graphics for the website. Gates Imbeau is one of the most organized people I have come across, and he does a fantastic job tracking the smallest of details across the Dobber Sports Empire.
Mike Amato and Steve Laidlaw are two fantastic writers who share the same passion that I have for fantasy hockey. Their daily ramblings are always interesting, unique, and usually force me to change my opinion on a player or a topic. I look forward to see where the website goes under their management. We have built the site up substantially over the past few years, and I truly believe there is potential for significantly more growth in the future, too.
I have worked with a number of great writers and passionate hockey people over the years, and I don’t want to list all of them for fear of leaving someone out. But if you have written anything for DobberHockey at any point since 2007, chances are our paths have crossed. Thanks for helping supply the website readers with their daily fix of hockey news. And an extra thanks if you submitted your column to me ahead of deadline!
Writing never was (nor is) the end goal for me in my professional career, but whatever I do end up pursuing, I know that my time at DobberHockey will be a benefit in so many ways. Managing, editing, writing, marketing, selling, branding – these are all skills I had to use and develop on a daily basis. Helping build a small business was a very challenging, unique, but ultimately rewarding process. The last few years in particular have been a case study in management and business in so many ways, and the challenge of doing it all virtually has made it all the more rewarding.
My writing has improved leaps and bounds since beginning here, and I still have so much to learn to become a better writer. I'm really proud of all of my work, particularly the annual Prime Cuts teams, the top 10 keeper rankings for each position, my forum mailbags, and the team audits. But at the end of the day, being able to provide any sort of advice, be it through a column, an e-mail, or a forum post, is what kept me coming back to this job. Sharing my passion (obsession) for hockey with others, and helping them along the way.
Most of all, getting paid to write about hockey taught me that it is possible to follow your passion in life if you work hard at it. Don’t “settle” for a job because it is something you are supposed to do or something that “pays well.” Eventually, you will grow tired of it.
It may take a few weeks, months, or even years, but if your career isn’t at least somewhat aligned with your interests, the only thing you will end up with is discontentment and unhappiness. I have also followed my passion into fitness and nutrition, and now I return to school (the University of Oregon’s MBA program, Go Ducks!) to expand my network, develop my skill set and continue to seek out ways to apply my passion(s) to my job. Life is too short to not love what you do (most of the time, of course), right?
Thanks DobberHockey. See you around.
PS - if you want to stay in touch, I'll still be tweeting out my thoughts (many hockey-related) on Twitter. Here is a link to my AngusCertified Facebook Page, as well as my personal LinkedIn page.