It's Cody Tucker's first day on the job, and I hope you'll have a chance to read his first feature for us, one in which he interviewed three of the Penguins' most intimidating enforcers, as well as his first-person introduction.
I'm writing this brief addendum to let you know there's more to come.
A lot more, both in quality and quantity.
Dale Lolley, my wife Dali and I have spent a ton of time this summer working toward a common goal of elevating our hockey coverage ... not just to meet our readers' expectations, but to exceed them. That's not easy. For this calendar year, 50.2 percent of our readers' team page visits go to the Penguins page, a mile higher than any other team. So we don't have to guess at what you're seeking. No matter how much hockey we put up, it gets devoured like nothing else.
That's why Cody, a nationally recognized, award-winning reporter, was added to our hockey coverage team. That's why Dale and Dali made multiple other moves aimed in the same direction.
And that's why we've expanded our planned scope for coverage to look like this:
• Cody and I will be virtually inseparable. He's covered hockey, he knows and loves the sport, but he'll obviously be new to the Penguins. That's where I'll come in. I'll be there for background, history, advice, whatever he needs.
• When I say we'll be virtually inseparable, that'll be doubly true once training camp and the games get going. We haven't gone through the whole schedule yet, but you'll be seeing both our bylines more often than not, home and road. Our plan is to push each other to do the best work possible, to free each other up as needed. We've talked about that a lot. And I'm not even scratching the surface here of what we've discussed.
• Chris Bradford will remain as engaged in hockey as ever -- he's got a companion piece up on enforcers this very morning -- while also assisting Dale on Steelers and in other areas. As Dale mentioned over the weekend, he likes taking fullest advantage of Bradford's ridiculous awareness of all sports -- seriously, he can cover anything and do it professionally -- to have a similar impact in supporting our football coverage.
• Matt Sunday, in addition to his photography, will carry into the new season his 'View from Ice Level' feature on game nights that so many readers told us they enjoyed. A noted beer-league sniper, he'll offer his own observations from in tight, in addition to the usual picture gallery.
• Taylor Haase's popular weekly analyses of the Penguins' prospects -- Wilkes-Barre Watch and Wheeling Watch -- will remain center stage on Mondays and Tuesdays. She'll also report from training camp, as well as other elements through the season, and she'll keep up with the NWHL and other women's hockey news.
• We're still looking to add an analytical presence on hockey. If you're interested or aware of anyone qualified who you enjoy reading, by all means feel free to share in comments. There's no rush on that, but we'd like to have it settled before the first real puck drops.
We'll all get more into this as the season gets closer. There's plenty of time. But I wanted you to hear from me, since I'll be so intensely involved, that our ambition here is to cover it all but also to cover it deeply, passionately, down to the roots. We want you to feel like you know the players and coaches as well as we do. We want you to feel like you're right there with us, in terms of information, experience, traveling to other NHL cities, the whole thing.
Man, I wish this all started, like, tomorrow.
As ever, I'll be in comments for anything you might have.
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