"Blogging" has taken over the internet by storm, and the online hockey community is no different. Some blogs have become as popular or even more popular than the mainstream media websites. It used to be the first sites I'd visit would be TSN.ca, Globe & Mail, and NHL.com. Now several blogs have worked their way into my daily routine.
Being a member of the blogging community, I wanted to pay respect to the blogs I read most and aspire to be like. Therefore I have created theHockey Blogs Power Rankings based strictly on my personal reading habits. Let's take a look.
1. The number one spot goes to James Mirtle. Mirtle is a Globe and Mail staffer, but this is his personal project, and definitely not mainstream spin off attempt at blogging. But being a staffer, he gets some great leads that most other sites can only follow instead of break. Also, he offers real personal insight on many of the issues. Perhaps it is because I tend to agree with what he says, but this gives Mirtle's site the edge on the top billing in my books. A daily visit for me for sure.
2. Oddly, my number 2 ranked blog is the blog I actually visit the most. In fact, when coming home from work and in search of the news of the day, Kuklas Korner is usually #2 on my visit list right after TSN.ca. Paul Kukla does what the rest of us don't have time for - he literally scours the internet for 70 to 80 hours a week, and posts the best stories he finds. This way I don't have to try to visit all the various newspaper sites, team sites, etc to keep up to date. And he always finds gems that are overlooked by national media. Kukla generally avoids shedding his personal thoughts on the issues, but his site obviously works. He's hockey's only full time blogger and now works with NHL.com
3. Duhatschek On Hockey comes in at #3. Eric Duhatschek of The Globe & Mail and Hockey Night In Canada is my favorite mainstream media writer, bar none. When he breaks a story, you can take it to the bank. No one is better connected, and he never resorts to dirty or fabricated stories. The only thing better than his reputation is the quality of his writing. This guy writes a ton yet it is rare to see a piece that is below his high standards. His online blog is no exception.
4. I generally don't buy into trade rumours, because they are so often completely fabricated by media members. Then you throw in the online wannabe's protected by the anonymity of the internet makes trade rumours even less appealing, even though online users tend to fall hook, line and sinker. But for the savvy hockey fan, Spector's Trade Rumours is the only respectable site out there in my opinion. He disects what is reported, and usually only comments on reports that can be verified with links, therefore giving the reader the chance to make his own assessments. Spector is usually pretty good about filtering out the crap from the plausible, and isn't afraid to call out the culprits. Another daily stop for me.
5. Rocketing up the power rankings is Reality Check's Eyes On The Prize. I like this site because a) there's a lot of hockey history content to be found here, and b) Reality Check offers alot of personal reflection in his posts. It really works well, and is something I'm going to consciously try more of here at Legends.
6. HabsInsideOut.com is the highest ranking corporate blog on my reading list. Created by the Montreal Gazette, it is one of the few mainstream media blogs that gets it. I'm a big fan of Dave Stubbs' work in particular. The site tends to offer regular history related content as well, which of course ranks high with me.
7. Jamie Fitzpatrick has been around so long that he predates the term blogger. He offers short but worthy insight on many topics, and offers lots of supporting links, which I like.
8. I'm going to give props to Tyler over at NHLDigest.com. He's been a big supporter of mine, and though I don't read his blog daily, he does offer some of the most unique content. His recent special on hockey equipment is an example of something you can find elsewhere. Plus his picture of the Edmonton Oilers unicycle made me laugh. I generally only look for blogs that give me the information I want and avoid the blogs that attempt, and usually fail at, being funny, but Tyler's style is genuinely entertaining. Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of great info to dig up here, including his own tributes to hockey legends.
9. Forechecker is relatively new to my reading list. Generally the topics covered are similar to many other blogs, but The Forechecker is an excellent writer and equally intelligent hockey wise.
10. If you're looking for something more entertaining, check out Jes Golbez's Hockey Rants. Like I said, I don't usually give comedians much chance, but I do check Jes' site at least once a weak. There's some funny stuff here, reminding of the good ol' days of LCS Hockey.