You may have noticed a slow trickle of content on the blog of late, and for that, my apologies. But the days without posts are for good reason .
Since the blog started in December of 2010, this is the first time we’ve had to deal with an off-season and preparing for the full hockey season. Because of that, there’s been some behind-the-scenes work being completed to make sure everything’s ready to go.
Essentially, the blog is going to go through some changes in order to allow for more comprehensive coverage over the course of this hockey season. The national team news and analysis will remain, as will weekly prospect updates and analysis. There will still be commentary on the game as a whole in the United States. However, there will be an added focus on the National Hockey League, its players and already drafted prospects, as that is an area that has been lacking around these parts.
You can also expect some ramped up coverage of the United States Hockey League and NCAA. Living just 15 minutes south of a major USHL hub (Cedar Rapids, the first time it’s been called a major hub), there will be more opportunities to watch and speak with the league’s players and coaches.
The NCAA is about to go through perhaps the most tumultuous three-year stretch we’ve seen. As the conference picture continues to come into focus, we’ll have coverage and analysis of it all. On top of that, there will be more content focusing on what’s happening on the ice at the college level. With the multitude of American prospects skating in college hockey rinks across the country, there’s plenty to cover.
There will be continued coverage of USA Hockey’s initiatives throughout the year, with examination of how its new Pee Wee checking rules are working, and the latest happenings with the American Development Model. You can also expect coverage of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Hockey Weekend Across America, and other growing-the-game initiatives, as per usual.
One of the things you’ll notice throughout the first half of the season is the U.S. World Junior Watch. As the tournament continues to grow in popularity, we’ll be tracking all of the U.S. National Junior Team candidates throughout the season, singling out various players for profiles from the early parts of the 2011-12 season right up to the announcement of the pre-tournament camp roster.
Since I write feature stories as part of that whole earning a living thing, I hope to bring some feature elements to the blog in the near future. They might be few and far between, but it will offer a change of pace from the “This Happened. Here are my thoughts” format this blog can sometimes take.
I hope you’ll enjoy some of the changes, additions and tweaks at United States of Hockey as the season rolls along.
Also, if there’s something you want to see more of, less of, or something different, please let me know. I’m always happy to hear feedback, suggestions or insults. You can leave them in the comments or shoot me a tweet or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2011-12 hockey season begins in earnest next week at USofH with a USHL season/prospect preview and a look at top American prospects taking part in NHL training camps this fall.