Apologies for the quick break from your usual St. Louis Blues coverage.
Today, a familiar name in the hockey community announced a major career change. Greg Wyshynski is leaving Yahoo Sports for a new endeavor, marking the end of an era in the hockey blogging community.
Why am I talking about that here at Frozen Notes? Because Greg and his evolving team at Puck Daddy are partially responsible for the position Frozen Notes is in today, and how it has grown and changed since its debut in 2009.
Puck Daddy has provided a strong voice for hockey, covering all of the major news stories as well as keeping a lighthearted light on some of the game’s oddities. They also kept a light on the little guy, focusing regularly on smaller blogs who weren’t associated or housed under a major brand. The regular column titled “Hockey Headlines” highlighted the work of writers around the league, bringing a large number of new readers to blogs who may not be accustomed to receiving more than a handful of visitors each day.
Such was the case here at Frozen Notes.
Puck Daddy would occasionally link to a piece here about the Blues, boosting the normal number of readers by an enormous percentage. Why? Simply because they thought there was a story here that deserved to be seen by a larger audience.
Frozen Notes isn’t a huge website. Though it’s currently under a network umbrella, The Sports Daily, that wasn’t always the case. There was a significant amount of time where I covered all of the costs associated with Frozen Notes out of my own pocket. My only hope was that any of the revenue brought in would at least cover the costs of this little hobby. That hope wasn’t always fulfilled. This website is, and always has been, a work of love and not profit. However, when Puck Daddy would highlight something I had written, it tremendously helped pick up some of that overhead.
Meanwhile, Greg also provided other opportunities for exposure. I was asked on a few occasions to write one of Puck Daddy’s infamous playoff eulogies for one of the Blues’ many foes and rivals. I turned down those opportunities because I felt my writing style wasn’t a very good fit for the demanding humor needed in a eulogy, but I was always honored to be asked. Greg always made the little guy feel included in the larger blogging picture and the larger hockey media scene.
That’s my story, but I know it’s a story shared by a countless number of blogs around the hockey world. Greg and his staff members did all of us smaller blogs a tremendous favor. Beyond the financial angle, those surges in traffic maintained the motivation required to keep a blog open for an extended period. It can be mentally demoralizing to spend hours on a piece only to see it fall flat. The Puck Daddy touch could change all of that with one link.
Sure, those “Hockey Headlines” posts were a solid way to get content for Puck Daddy without having to craft an original piece, but they made a huge difference for websites such as this one.
Greg is now changing things up and will likely call a new place home very soon. My bet would be on The Athletic, but that hasn’t been confirmed. What we all can confirm is that Greg will make a positive impact for hockey regardless of where he ends up.