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 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!