Who are the DobberHockey writers? You read their articles every day, now it is time to go behind the scenes. Throughout the summer, each writer will be put in the spot light. They will share a little bit about themselves, their columns and some upcoming predictions. Next up is Tim Lucarelli.
Name : Tim Lucarelli
Twitter : @tlucarelli
I've had a ton of different fav songs over the years...probably What I Got (Sublime) when I was younger and Panama (Van Halen) now. It's hard not to get pumped for a mens league game when blasting some Van Halen!
Favorite album? I think I'd have to give my favorite album nod to Incubus' Science. That one never gets old.
First Fantasy League? Year? First round pick?
I'm surprised Yahoo still carries these records, but my first fantasy league was in 2001. I picked Milan Hejduk 10th overall and won the league.
Last fantasy hockey championship? My last title just came this past season in my own league - The Ultimate.
Favorite summer Olympic event? I love beach volleyball. Maybe it's the Californian in me.
Favorite winter Olympic event? After hockey of course, I try to catch snowboarding and bobsledding.
What is your earliest hockey memory? Best memory?
My earliest hockey memory was a little fuzzy, but I distinctly remember leaving a restaurant and my Dad making us all basically run through the parking lot so that we could get in the car and turn the radio on to hear if the LA Kings beat the Maple Leafs or not to go to the Stanley Cup Finals.
My best memory - gosh, hard to narrow it down...I would probably have to say Game 6 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals where Scott Stevens basically knocked Paul Kariya into the next universe...when Kariya came back out on the ice, the energy in the Pond was unbelievable...then when he scored a goal a few minutes later, that had to have been the most amazing thing I've witnessed in person at a game. And I've been to the Winter Classic in Philadelphia, been to the Cup Clinching game for Anaheim in 2007, and watched Claude Giroux's OT winner in the 2010 Cup Finals. None of those games had what that 2003 Game 6 in Anaheim had.
Having gone to last year’s Winter Classic, how was that experience? Even though my team lost, it was still an amazing experience. For those of you who ever have a chance to see your team in the Winter Classic, for sure do it. It's going to cost a ton of money, especially if you don't live in the hometown, but there are so many amazing things going on. For the more nostalgic fans, do whatever you can to keep up with the alumni team. In Philly, the Flyers alumni actually held an organized practice, which was a blast to go to.
As a well-respected forum member, co-winner of DobberHockey’s forum blog contest and first graduate, your path to becoming a regular main page writer has been quite the experience. Care to describe?
Any advice to other aspiring writers? I grew up with the dream of playing in the NHL and with some fairly good amateur success, I guess I had a harder time letting go than most would. I think that had a part in me wanting to somehow get involved beyond the level of a typical fan, so when Dobber opened up the contest to become a writer, I jumped at the opportunity. Everything about DobberHockey has drawn me in and kept me sucked in, so it really is an honor to be on the staff. For those considering it, my advice would be to accept criticism and look everywhere for inspiration. It's not easy pleasing everyone, and if you don't...you'll hear about it! Also it becomes hard to always think of fresh material, so you have to be willing to put your fans colors aside and embrace the story, even if it's for a heated rival.
The Eastern Edge must be quite the task, especially with Ryan Ma covering the West. How do you embrace the challenge? What steps do you take to prepare and deliver quality pieces?
Like I was mentioning above, it isn't always easy coming up with fresh material, but as time goes on I think I am learning more about how to keep good information coming your way. As a sidenote - I'm always up for suggestions if you guys have something specific you want to hear about. Just send me a message on twitter. Ryan does a great job on the west, so that's always motivation to try and keep up.
Your league, the Ultimate, went to Vegas last year. Any big plans this time around?
I think we've done Vegas the last two or three years, but we've always had a couple league members there too. This year around it looks like that won't be the case, so I guess Vegas is out of the picture in 2012. A couple of us have talked about London (where we do have one or two league members), Toronto, and Cincinnati (my new hometown where two others live), but I am guessing a big draft site will have to be 2013.
Many commissioners hope to run long and successful fantasy leagues. What advice could you give to commissioners in order to keep their league active, respectful and fun?
I've been in a couple different leagues where commissioners have different strategies and a lot of them work out just fine. I personally like the approach I take, and I think the GM's in my league will tell you they appreciate it. I am always asking the opinion of the league members and allowing everyone to have their voices heard. If a big decision would be upcoming, I literally pose the question to the league and allow a discussion to just linger for as long as necessary, then summarize and implement. I try as hard as I can not to just say "this is what we're doing" and then implement. I want everyone to feel like I am not on a pedestal above everyone else making rules and forcing things one way or another. We're all in it together, and I want it to feel like a close-knit group of buddies playing fantasy hockey and getting along in the process.
When you first log on, what are your go-to sites? Reads?
To be honest, I am not able to surf the internet much thanks to my day job. Instead I keep up with a few different apps on my iphone. Specifically rotoworld, twitter, tsn, sportacular (for scores), and capgeek.
What is your favorite hobby / pastime away from the keyboard?
I love to travel. I've been to 10 of the 30 NHL rinks and I'm on a mission to see all 30. I'm always thinking about somewhere to go see or explore...besides traveling I like staying on the ice or playing guitar.
Finally, biggest surprise in 2012-13? Team? Player?
The biggest surprise in 2012-13 is going to be the Columbus Blue Jackets. I am very impressed with what Scott Howson has done, and I think people are still underestimating how the Jackets will perform. In terms of a player who could really make a huge leap forward, there are going to be a ton of names tossed around...the first one that comes to mind right now is Jakub Voracek. Ton of potential there as he has the inside track on skating with Claude Giroux.
Next up is Brendan Ross.