Monday, May 05, 2008


A New Dawn for

Some weird news to report as CraveOnline, a Maxim-wanna be website, purchased and Obviously, Craveonline wants to reap in the young horny boy demographic and HFBoards has that in spades. This was quite a shocking piece of news, to me.

I have more details over at FanHouse, so I'll just use this space for personal musings. (Warning!! Rambling ahead)

As some of you know, I used to write for Hockeysfuture for a few years. I was with the site when it was still quite young and finding its feet. I recall the website used to be called something like Hockey 2000, although my memory is failing me in my old age.

I started out writing about the Florida Panthers, my favourite team at the time (Beezer!). I remember extolling the virtues of Dan Boyle, Peter Ratchuk, Chris Allen, Peter Worrell, Oleg Kvasha, Mark Parrish, and so one. Obviously, some of them turned out to be not much at all, but that's just the nature of the prospects business.

One of my first articles was about the signing of junior-phenom Ivan Novoseltsev. Remember him? Yeah, he didn't do much in the NHL, but he was their top prospect at one time, and a lesson in how risky the prospects game can be.

After some time, Mark Fischel, now a big wig within the NHL media division (last I heard), an actual guy from Florida, took on the Panthers area and I focused more on the Slovaks, taking over from the previous writer (whom helped me greatly over the years with information and getting sources).

Anyway, I never imagined that HF would become as big as it has, especially given that it focuses on prospects, and not mainstream hockey.

I remember when the Taylor brother sold the business, and then it was taken over by a group who wanted to aggressively expand the brand. Next came a magazine that failed miserably and cost a lot of money to put out.

It was at this time that I became a lot less active with the website, given the new ownership was focused so heavily on profits and I didn't like their overall attitude. It didn't help that they took good content and put it in the pay magazine. I wrote the stuff for the website, and I never received a cent for my work.

No, I never expected to get paid ... it was simply a hobby/interest of mine. Still, I never expected them to simply take and chop up my work into their magazine, a publication of which I never received a copy.

I know the site was then re-sold and stabilized in new ownership. Of course, I wrote less and less and didn't keep in contact with new ownership much at all. Finally, work and other commitments have lessened my interest in hockey prospects, so I'm really out of the loop these days except for a few Slovaks and some WHLers I can keep an eye on when watching Giants games.

Back to my original point, I am still amazed that HF grew as much as it has, mainly due to its forums. I never visit the forums, and part of my disgust with them led me to create Hockey Rants, but I can't deny their influence. Without the forums becoming as big as they were, HF would still just be a niche site, albeit a very influential and well-visited niche website.

Does this purchase help hockey become even more mainstream? Can a company like CraveOnline help hockey get more exposure among the horny young men crowd?

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This reminds me of the community I used to belong to.

Fanhome was sold out to the corporate, which also seemed much more interested in the demographic than the sports it was initially intended to talk about. After time, there had become such a rift between the Administration and Ownership from the volunteers that actually ran the site, a coup was formed and thus was created.

For several months there was anarchy among the natives. Each fighting for a piece of the community pie, with nobody proving ultimately successful at satisfying their membership. was formed by a branch of Montreal Canadien fans while a 2nd was resurrected by the original staff team (who no doubt were ousted by a very disappointed And that's where I came in...

Tired of the unrest and politics between the 4 branches of our former community, I provided yet a 5th forum for hockey fans. But unlike the others, I had no interest in playing tug o' war with existing members and instead I went out to search for new hockey fans that had no place to call home as far as a message board was concerned.

So to wrap up this rather lengthy comment, I'd just like to say that I can give CraveOnline the benefit of the doubt, until given a reason to do otherwise. But if in fact it is not the hockey that they care about, it will ultimately prove to be a bad business decision for them. Hockey fans for the most part are quite intelligent when it comes to their sport. And really, all we want is to find a home with a little bit of integrity.

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