Story #1960 - It's Not Goodbye, It's See You Soon

Sunday, July 30, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Highland Park Hockey transitions to InsideAHLHockey.com on August 1st!

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

EDIT: Take 30 seconds to answer three quick questions about how Inside AHL Hockey can best serve up what you're most interested in this upcoming season.

After almost six and a half years, I can't believe I'm writing the final story here at Highland Park Hockey.

What started out as basically an online record for myself to keep track of the 2010-11 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins while I was away at Penn State University finishing up my journalism degree has turned into so much more over the years.

While the saying is that all good things must come to an end, this is more of a see you later than a final goodbye. With this blog coming to an end at the end of the month, I turn the page on to something that myself as well as several of my colleagues around the American Hockey League (AHL) unanimously agree is a venture that is both necessary and on to something that will be quite worthwhile.



Let's face it. Traditional print media is becoming a dying breed. Daily newspapers are downsizing and - especially in the sports department - laying off experienced writers and either replacing them from within or not at all.

This means the remaining employees are spending their 40-hour work weeks devoting their time to more work and, with no fault due unto themselves, less dedicated coverage/content - resulting in lesser quality journalism which causes more and more readers continue to get their news online from independent media sources. It further depletes readership and ad revenue these print media companies rely on, which continues the vicious cycle of downsizing and diminishing the quality of work it produces.

Being fortunate enough to have a full-time job away from hockey (now two full-time jobs over the course of the past 14 months) that is flexible has allowed me to fill the gaps left by traditional mainstream media with regards to American Hockey League (AHL) coverage.

This summer heading into the upcoming season and hopefully for many years to come, I aim to provide a service with my new venture that simply doesn't exist in today's day and age at the AHL level. Dedicated, original journalism across the AHL where fans from all 30 teams will be able to access all the latest news, information and feature stories that extends past the box scores, press releases, click-bait and fluff pieces currently widely available.

I certainly won't be able to do this alone. Inside AHL Hockey's staff is currently being put together and will continue to expand as time moves on, but I can tell you now that we already have several talented, established and well-connected AHL resources that will be contributing to the site this season.. I'll have full details on all of this and a lot more leading up to the start of the season.

I also wouldn't have made it to this point without a lot of help from you - the reader. Your loyalty to continuing to follow my coverage of the AHL and specifically daily coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms since day 1 of their franchise in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania has been nothing short of incredible. I've always been told that hard work often goes unnoticed, and Philadelphia Flyers and Phantoms fans have certainly proved to me first-hand that that sentiment is ever true.

I'll have full details on our new website InsideAHLHockey.com  Tuesday going over everything you'll need to know about this transition phase and what is to come, but some brief points I wanted to get out beforehand are below.

I understand that my decision to operate under a partial paywall this upcoming season might be met with some distaste, but it is necessary in order to continue to provide the second-to-none daily coverage of the Phantoms that many of you have seen here the past three years as well as to make it even better. Right now, the plan is to run the site completely free for the month of August and begin the subscriptions for premium content on September 1st to give everyone a feel for what kind of content will be published here.

The addition of more AHL-wide content will also allow fans of the other 29 teams to have their eyes opened at the potential Inside AHL Hockey has to change the way hockey fans can keep in tune with the National Hockey League's (NHL) top prospects and future NHL stars of tomorrow.

How often over the course of the season are AHL players called up to the NHL level with little to no first-hand and detailed/insightful knowledge for the common NHL fan to have access to about a new player on their favorite team?

The answer is daily once the season begins.

Obviously, there will be some constraints initially regarding just how much AHL coverage of all 30 teams will be published and there will be some growing pains in the initial stages. All I ask is for your patience, cooperation and support with this new venture and allow it some time to grow into what myself and many others in the field see as a great potential to develop into a major resource for hockey fans across the globe.

And with that, I type out the final words in this 1,690th story here at Highland Park Hockey. I want to thank everyone who has read here over the years, and hope you will continue to read my (and others') AHL content as the transition to Inside AHL Hockey begins.




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