Last week I debuted Top Ten Tuesdays with a look at mustaches throughout NHL history.
Unbelievably, it was my most popular post ever, with generous link-love from Yahoo!, Deadspin, BallHype, HFBoards and a surprising number of United States radio stations and baseball websites.
While on one hand I was disturbed that such a flighty post was 100 times more popular than a normal feature post which I work so hard at, on the other hand I was truly humbled by the incredible traffic numbers.
All the new readers, comments and traffic would not have been possible without the link-love, though. Since there is no way I can duplicate last week's success, this week I'll return in kind, offering my personal favorite Top Ten Hockey Blogs. Hopefully this week's top ten also serves as a reference point for fans for a new hockey season just around the corner!
Let's get it started! Joe Pelletier's Top Ten Hockey Blogs are:
10. Dennis Kane - This Montreal fan's site is loaded with great hockey history, and he presents it in a very personal fashion. Just a few days ago he told this hilarious story about how Bert Olmstead chewed him out over the phone. Great stuff!
9. Waiting For Stanley - A Canucks blogger who knows the whole league well. He is also tremendously skilled and funny with Photoshop. Plus he's from Smithers, BC and I'm next door from Terrace BC. We small-town Northern BCers needed to stick together.
8. Orland Kurtenblog - I'm a Canucks fan, so I visit here more often than non-Canucks fans I'm sure. They remind me so much of LCS Hockey in the early days. Sometimes they stray too far off topic, but they're always entertaining.
7. Going Five Hole - Sean Leahy comes up with some funny and neat stories, as well as some great feature pieces. He's incredibly popular.
6. Eyes On The Prize - I'm a big fan of Robert Lefebvre's blog, largely because it is so historically based. He's done a good job by narrowing his focus back to strictly Montreal Canadiens coverage, therefore not stretching himself too thin.
5. Kukla's Korner - If you're trying to find all of the hockey news of the day in one place, Paul Kukla's blog is has always been the blog to go to. He's just completed a shocking re-design where he has welcomed a slew of top hockey blogging talent to join the KK team, including Mike Chen, On The Forecheck, Bethany's Hockey Ranks, Goal Line Report, Red And Black Hockey, Senshobo and Puck Stops Here. The Kukla's Korner empire just repositioned itself brilliantly with the top of the hockey blogging heap as the obvious target.
4. Puck Daddy - Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy is headed by Greg Wyshynski. Wyshynski is the heart of blog, and key funny man, although Ross McKeon and Sean Leahy are great too. Sometimes it's almost too much about entertainment and humour for my liking, but I'm an old fogey and a stick in the mud.
3. Illegal Curve - Illegal Curve sort of copies the Kuklas Korner recipe for success, and may now be doing it better. I especially like Richard Pollock's hard work with NHL Morning Papers. He appears to be staying up late now too with his Nightly Wrap Up. It's a great place to stop and get all the NHL city newspaper headlines in one read.
2. Spector - Lyle Richardson is hockey's rumour king. He's been so successful at his own blog he's been hired by The Hockey News and Fox Sports. I'm so completely envious!
1. James Mirtle - I can never get James to link to my stuff, but if there is one must-read everyday hockey blog out there it is James Mirtle. Mirtle has advantages, including journalism education at Ryerson and working for the Globe And Mail newspaper. He gets scoops that most can't. He knows how to capture the readers by saying just the right amount, which is something I know I constantly struggle with. I keep studying Mirtle to make myself better, which is why I name James Mirtle as hockey's top blogger.
You can always check BallHype for the latest rankings of all the hockey blogs. Their rankings are based on traffic, linking and number of posts.
Also, just a note about Jes Golbez. Last week he announced his popular Hockey Rants blog was closing down, and that he would no longer write for AOL Fanhouse. Coming up with writing of his quality is a tiring process, and he wrote about he no longer had what it takes to keep up with the commitment. He's retiring so to speak, wanting to rediscover the great life of a hockey fan.
I can understand Jes' state of mind, and I suspect all top hockey bloggers have had moments where quitting sounded like a good idea. I'm sure I speak for all quality hockey bloggers when I offer Jes a tap on the helmet and say thank you.