Since January of 2020, I have been responsible for putting out the weekly hockey column for The Daily Free Press. It was a role I did not take lightly. Each week during the NHL season, I tried to balance writing about a pressing story in the hockey world, while at the same time, leaving room for topics I thought were important to tackle.
Much of the time, I dove into an angle centering around the Boston Bruins. Writing for Boston University students, as well as watching many of the B’s games, this column gave me the opportunity to highlight important storylines for the organization.
As other journalistic endeavors confirmed to me as well, I thoroughly enjoy taking a retrospective look at certain figures. I reveled in describing what Zdeno Chara meant to the Bruins when he played in his 1,000th game as Boston’s captain. I relished pointing out both why David Krejci is undervalued by Bruins fans and why he has been invaluable to Boston throughout his career. But I never wanted the column to be just limited to the Bruins.
I also had a blast tackling debate topics. Who is better, Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin? Is Wayne Gretzky the greatest North American athlete to ever play a team sport? In those instances, I wanted to blend my analysis while also having the statistics do some of the talking.
But as I think back, two columns really stick out in my mind. I am proud of how these turned out because they were important stories that went so far beyond the sport of hockey.
The first column that jumps out to me was the one I wrote about Bobby Ryan earning the Masterton Memorial Trophy for being a player who best represented the sport’s values. Ryan’s comeback to the NHL, not to mention his childhood, was nothing short of awe-inspiring. I felt the importance of his story and did my best to convey the essence of a life filled with peaks and valleys.
The other column that means a lot to me was a tribute to BU icon Travis Roy after he died last October. I felt the magnitude of the story as I was writing it. I understood the importance of BU’s student-run paper giving a personable salute to Roy and my responsibility in doing so.
While journalists strive to write every story with the same fervor, regardless of the subject matter, the truth is, some stories carry more weight. They just do. And I really hope I honored Roy and his accomplishments appropriately — few Terriers have and ever will leave a legacy as powerful as his. It was emotional reading what Roy’s mother, Brenda Roy, had to say in the comments.
I cannot thank The Daily Free Press enough for giving me this opportunity and platform to share my thoughts on the hockey world. I really tried not to take this opportunity for granted because I know how coveted a column slot in any newspaper is. I respected how this paper gave me creative freedom to write about any topic I felt was fit for that specific week. These reps of producing long-form, opinionated journalism will prove to be invaluable as I graduate from BU.
I would also like to thank anyone who consistently consumed my column. As a journalist, there is no better feeling than learning someone read your work and it garnered a reaction. The thought of people looking forward to reading my articles is nothing short of intoxicating.
As I move forward in my journalistic journey, having this column was a phenomenal way for me to strengthen my voice. But wherever my career ends up going, I will never forget contributing to this paper. Seeing my name on the by-line of a story, having people comment on my work and holding a physical copy of a newspaper containing something I wrote never ceases to be surreal.