Just got finished with my draft preview story, which should be online soon. I spoke to Zach Bogosian, who is in town working with the Thrashers youth camp, for the story. I’ll fill you in on what he said in a little bit.
First, I’d like to address something from my last blog. Some felt I may have been harsh with my answer to one post who questioned the AJC’s hockey coverage. Let me say I don’t have a problem with people wanting, and expecting, more coverage from the paper. As the Pro Sports Editor, I lived that every day for five years. It’s tough to please everyone. The fact is that hockey is not the biggest draw here right now. The franchise is only 10 years old. The TV ratings are poor for the Thrashers. The online numbers are not high. Coverage gets caught behind the more popular Falcons, Braves or UGA. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want, and get, more coverage.
But here is the thing folks. Let’s be constructive about it. If you want to take shots at me for going on vacation and sharing a photo, if you want to make fun of the AJC’s name, if you want to lash out in an immature manner, I’m going to call you on it – especially when you offer the great insight our pal Joey did.
This is a blog for folks who want to talk about the Thrashers and hockey. Hopefully, I can give you some insight from my day-to-day coverage of the team. Most of you are as, or more, knowledgeable than me about the team and sport. That is great. We can all share ideas and views. We will not always agree.
Here’s what I can promise. I will give you as much insight as I’m able – about why something was covered the way it was, where something ran in the paper, why I chose to focus on one particular thing in my story, etc. We can talk about that all day long as far as I’m concerned. Let’s just keep it constructive.
On to hockey.
Bogosian said he has been back in his hometown of Massena, New York. After the World Championships, he spent a week in Barbados and then took another week off before he started training again. He’s lifting weights and doing cardio work. He said he won’t get on skates again until next month.
Here’s some other things he said about the World Championships:
“Obviously I didn’t play as much as I would have liked. Obviously, it’s a learning experience and it’s not like they told me I was going to play a lot and I didn’t play. It was a learning experience for me and I took a lot out of it. It was my first international event. It was a good deal for me.
“It was a new experience because it was bigger ice, different style of play, different countries. Pretty much in the NHL everyone plays the North American style. You go over there and it’s a different type of play and a different type of offense. It takes you a while to adjust. You have to get used to the food and the time change. It was good for me. It’s definitely a different experience than the NHL.
“There are a lot of skill guys in the NHL, but over there it’s like everyone was skilled. It’s not like there was a four-five crash and bang line, it was a four-five skill line. It was just different. I’m not used to playing against a team with four skill lines and six puck-moving defenseman. It was a little different, but it was cool.”
On his celebrity back home:
“It’s been pretty crazy. It’s a small town so I can’t really walk anywhere without getting noticed. It’s cool that I have a lot of fans. Everyone up there has been really respectful. They don’t keep me around and try to talk to me for five hours. I had it a little bit last year because of the hype of the draft. I had my name out there a little bit. After my first NHL season, I can definitely say it’s picked up a little bit. It’s good for the community because it’s a small town. It’s good to see little kids running up to you and showing support.
“In Atlanta, I’ve only been approached a few times.”
On last year’s draft:
“I never really got caught up in the hype. Everyone was talking about top-five picks all from the OHL and there all supposed to go in the top five. Luckily, I was playing in Peterborough and most of those kids ranked up there with me were all Canadian. They got all the attention so I slipped by. I didn’t let it get to my head. I tried to take it as it came to me and never really think about it much or go on the internet and check rankings. I’m my own person. They might have better things than me and I might have better things than them. It was never really something that I thought about.”
I hope to be catching up with other players in the near future. Also, the developmental camp is next month and I’ll report from there. Perhaps we’ll see how close Angelo Esposito is to the NHL.
If you’ve read Rawhide’s blog, you know I’ll be stopping by TJ’s in Alpharetta for a little while before the draft. Please drop by and give me your thoughts if you are so inclined. I’m sure I won’t be able to use all the material I gather from the interviews with Don Waddell and the draft pick in my story, so I will pass on the extra in another blog tomorrow.
Again, thanks folks.