A note on some changes to Spector’s Hockey.

Find out what the latest changes have been to this site and the reasons for their implementation.

In recent weeks I’ve had some time to evaluate my website, and had to admit that it’s been lacking for material.

When I first started up this site back in 1998, it consisted of my coverage of trade and free agent rumors, a twice-weekly commentary (the “Soapbox”) on recent NHL news and issues, reviews of my favorite hockey books, my all-time all-stars of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, and links to my favorite hockey sites.

Over time, I added a “fans speak out” page, which allowed readers their own soapbox to comment on NHL happenings, as well as separate pages for those who wished to be regular, albeit unpaid, contributors.

Following the lockout, I went through several design changes. I dropped the hockey book reviews and the all-star pages, plus expanded, contracted, and then finally eliminated the links page as it became too time-consuming to keep updated.

The “fans speak out” page was changed to a message forum, which has allowed my readers the opportunity to share their views amongst themselves, without having to pass their comments through me for editing and posting.

A “news” page was also created, mainly dealing with trades, free agent signings, player retirements, and coaching and general manager hirings and firings.

The lockout also resulted in the departure of my contributors, who either couldn’t rekindle their passion of writing about hockey, or went on to start their own blogs and sites. I also felt that was for the best, for my workload was increasing to the point where I lacked sufficient time to edit work from contributors, plus I also couldn’t afford to pay them for their efforts.

If the web traffic stats are anything to go by, Spector’s Hockey has continued to grow in popularity. Still, in recent months I felt the site was lacking in quality, having been reduced to little more than the trade rumors, Soapbox, news, message forum, and links to my work with Foxsports.com and The Hockey News, and my participation on The Face Off Hockey Show and Puck Daddy Live Chat.

I therefore decided over the past several weeks to make some additions to the site, which I hope will expand its popularity, as well as remain enjoyable for the current readership.

In early July, I added “Canadian Corner”, focusing on the daily top news stories of the seven NHL Canadian-based franchises along with my own commentary on those stories, in hopes of attracting more of a following from fans of those specific teams.

In August, I introduced “Hockey Blog Beat”, a daily roundup of the most interesting (in my opinion) posts of bloggers from around the NHL. There’s a large number of team-specific bloggers whose work might not be as familiar to other fans around the league. By sharing some of their work, I hope to help them gain more publicity, as well as drive more traffic to this site.

This past week, I also broke with a long standing tradition on my rumors page of ignoring the work of trade rumor bloggers, and have begun to include links to their posts, as well as providing my unique brand of commentary.

I’ve divided my daily rumor report in half, with those reported by the mainstream media on the top half, and those reported by bloggers on the bottom half. In that way, I avoid mingling the two, plus give my readers the option of which reports they wish to read.

This change has been the most controversial, though the overwhelming majority of feedback to it has been positive.

**UPDATE** Upon further consideration, I’ve decided to post the MSM and blogosphere rumors on separate pages, so that those who don’t want to read anything generated from rumor bloggers won’t have to.

I’ve been asked in recent years if I would consider adding more writers to the site, but again, lack of time and funds prohibits me from doing so. Spector’s Hockey will remain a “one-man band” for the time being.

Whether you’ve followed this site for years or have recently discovered it, I hope you’ll appreciate and enjoy these new features, and continue to support Spector’s Hockey. It’s because of all of you I’ve been able to do this for a living, which I deeply appreciate. With your continued support, I hope to continue doing this for many years to come.

Thank you!

11 Comments

  1. “I’ve been asked in recent years if I would consider adding more writers to the site, but again, lack of time and funds prohibits me from doing so. Spector’s Hockey will remain a “one-man band” for the time being.”

    Damn – and I was so hoping to get my big break through you….

    Kidding aside, you have my favorite hockey site on the entire web, Lyle. Well, except for the Canadiens’ home page. But that’s understandable, I think.

  2. Agreed; great stuff, Spec.

  3. Good job Spector! I’ve enjoyed reading your comments, and will continue to do so!
    I really like the addition in the rumors section, although I’d drop the ones coming from Ecklund… ;o)
    Thumbs up for the good work!

  4. I actually appreciate a realistic take on Eklund’s material occasionally. Love the Canadian section. Would love more blogbeat material. Read your stuff every morning, and look forward to more.

  5. Great job Lyle, I have been an avid reader for a few years now and I really enjoy your new forums. The Canadian Corner is a must for a Canadian hockey fan, but I also laugh so hard at the Hockey bloggers site. I’m glad you are keeping it real and make fun of the ones”cough Eklund cough” who need and deserve it!!

  6. Spec, as an American who loves hockey in the Detroit area, I read your column every day and think you do a helluva good job. The introduction of bloggers such as Eklund is ok with me because we see the fools that want to trade stars for checking forwards and then tell us how this is good for both teams. You are both fair and honest, sometimes it hurts but honest non the less. Keep up the good work.

  7. Long live the one man band!

  8. The last count I saw on the original posting that generated the controversy was 8 out of 36 people having an issue with this. That’s 22%, better than 1 in 5, of people you’re alienatiing. That’s significant.

    Saying the responses have been overwhelmingly positive is kind of misleading. I have a huge issue with frauds being promoted here, but I’d have to say even my response was overwhelmingly positive toward you, Lyle. Hell, my positive sentiment toward your work is why I’ve even taken the time to voice complaint.

    If you can seperate the traditional from the known frauds and have them on seperate pages, that would be acceptable at least to me. Having them on the same page but just in different sub sections doesn’t cut it, because I have a moral issue with clicking on a page with a link to a guy like Eklund.

    So far, I’m seeing it mixed with both posts that are devoted entirely to blog stuff and others mixed blog/msm. I suppose when you stabilize on format it makes it easier for me to make a decision.

    Keep up the good work (either with or without 20%+ of your audience being alienated).

  9. I absolutely love the changes you’ve made!

    I love the Canadian Corner, and reporting the Blog stuff is great too. A lot of those Blog guys have great insight into their particular team, and I simply am not going to review 1,000 blogs to figure out what’s gold and what’s; well…. Eklund. I’m glad you do that here.

    If you want a suggestion, I would say, have a “Fantasy Hockey Corner”. Let us know who’s saying which goalie is about to take over the number one spot, what player I should trade now, while I can, and what sleepers are out there. Just a suggestion.

  10. Great site Lyle. I found it as I was surfing the web for hockey sites in the Summer of 2003. It’s been in my bookmarks since then.

    If you change your mind on contributors, I will do it free. I make pretty good money with the contracts I do for the canadian federal government and I also receive a pension from workers compensation that pays for my cable and internet connection.I would do it, because I love talking about hockey.

  11. Look forward to continuing to read your blog!