Thursday, September 6, 2012

Increased workload makes blog suffer

The arrival of a Kontinental Hockey League club in Prague is a watershed moment in Czech  hockey, as it means that this country will see arguably its highest calibre of club hockey since the 1980s, when top players began trickling out of Czechoslovakia to the west.

The arrival of HC Lev Praha makes Derek a busy boy.
Photo: Ondřej Kalát,
Thursday is the day when Lev Praha makes its KHL debut on home ice at Tipsport Arena against Dinamo Riga. Though it has been known for months that this day was coming, I have not commented much about it, as I knew I would be writing for the team website and I therefore felt writing under the guise of unbiased journalism wouldn't be fair. Therefore, I want to make it clear that I am in fact working for the club.

I started this blog two years ago in hopes of breaking into hockey writing and filling a gap that I noticed, namely the lack of Czech hockey news and analysis in English. As a native English speaker living in the Czech Republic with an extensive background in hockey and writing, I felt myself more than qualified to fill that gap. To that end, I feel I have made definite progress.

In December 2010 I began contributing to, in June 2011, and in the past 18 months, I have had paid assignments covering four IIHF World Championship tournaments, including three writing for the English versions of official tournament websites (2011 Inline World Championship in Pardubice, 2012 U18 Women's World Championship in Zlín, and 2012 U18 Men's World Championship in Brno). I also contributed from afar writing for Lev Poprad, the short-lived KHL franchise in the Slovakian Tatra Mountains.

If there was a downside to all of that extra work, it meant that I had less free time to write on this blog. Indeed, the number of entries for the 2011-12 season was approximately half of the previous year. This year, with the KHL in Prague, I have a great opportunity to further my writing career, but it will also take a great deal more of my time. Writing almost daily for Lev, as well as making contributions to the website of their corporate partner, HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, added on top of a full-time teaching job does not leave me a whole lot of time to write as a hobby.

I want to make it clear that I am not saying I am finished with this blog. If there is big news from the Czech Extraliga, I will probably still write something. Also, around December, I will report on the developments of the Czech U20 national team as it prepares for the World Junior Championships, as articles I've written the past two years on the team have generated a lot of traffic from abroad. Just don't expect daily, or even necessarily weekly updates, as was common in the past.

As I write this, it is less than seven hours from the opening faceoff. For my preview of the game, click here, and check back often for previews, game reports, and player interviews throughout the season. If you don't already, following me on Twitter (@Djob76) will keep you informed about any other outlets that I might contribute to.

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed reading your blog for the past few years Derek, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be informed of much going on in Czech hockey so I thank you very much and wish you best of luck working for Lev Praha and I'll definitely be reading about them now too!