I thought it was about time I gave you an update on the state of Puck Yeah and what’s happening with the website and podcast that I like to call ‘New Zealand’s home of hockey’ for 2019.
Well first of all, we’re based out of Australia now. My wife Sarah and I have packed up our lives in Auckland and moved across the ditch to Sydney after she was offered an incredible job opportunity that had to be taken – the crazy thing is this all started to happen a week after our wedding, so there’s been a couple big life decisions of late.
And yes, my Puck Yeah podcast co-host Joe Durie was one of my groomsmen – he looks pretty decent in a suit I might add.
Upon learning this news, those I am close with amongst New Zealand’s ice hockey community firstly congratulated Sarah and I on our recent wedding and secondly, a recurring question was asked: what does that mean for Puck Yeah and the NZIHL’s media coverage?
Rest assured Puck Yeah will continue on! The way our coverage of the 2018 NZIHL season was received was overwhelmingly positive and it meant a lot to me personally knowing that all those hours of hard work were being appreciated by the very people it’s intended to benefit: the hockey players, the teams and their fans.
There is one thing that will change however.
As of last Sunday I notified the NZIHL and the New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation that after some careful consideration I would be stepping back from my volunteer role as their Media Director.
Truth be told I became burnt out last season and I had to let some things fall by the wayside in an effort to preserve my mental health. There just wasn’t enough hours in the week to do everything I wanted to do for the NZIHL and Puck Yeah, which is my own doing really – so I prioritised the league’s needs to make sure games were being promoted and seen live or online through YouTube.
Now that those media operations are in a good place, I feel like I can step aside and focus on what’s important to me – I’ve put a lot of my own time and money into the Puck Yeah brand over the past two years and we’re starting to really see that pay off, so from 2019 onwards that will be my priority.
This means that there is one or two volunteer positions now available to help the NZIHL with their social media needs for the 2019 season, running from mid-May to mid-August.
If this is something that interests you then don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself to find out more via our contact form – it’s a great way to gain valuable experience to help get your foot in the door elsewhere. And I’ll still be onhand to answer any technical questions as best as I can from Australia.
So, what about Puck Yeah for 2019?
While evaluating where we currently stand as a news and social media service, Joe and I took into consideration any constructive feedback we received last year, starting with…
Looking back on 2018, the one thing that I wish we hadn’t done was let the podcast disappear for an extended break, twice. With so many stories to share and players we want to interview, Joe and I are determined to not let that happen in 2019.
This week we started off the new season with a bang recording a fresh Rick Parry interview after the shock news dropped that the veteran goalie would be joining the Botany Swarm after spending the past five years with the West Auckland Admirals.
There’s plenty more to come with a new episode out next week featuring an interview with New Zealand Inline Ferns captain Tara Fox and team manager Courtney Fox, whom recently tied the knot.
We’re also looking at ways to make podcasts a more visual experience where possible.
Puck Yeah will be releasing at least two documentaries this year – the first one being a feature on how ice hockey is growing in Wellington following on from the disappointment of last year’s cancelled Ice Hockey Classic at Westpac Stadium, and the unique characters making it happen. Expect a trailer for that to come out in the next few weeks.
The second documentary is an ambitious project that will come from myself filming the New Zealand Ice Blacks through their intense 10-day training camp in Vail, Colorado along with the 2019 IIHF Worlds in Mexico City, where they hope to win gold and gain promotion to the next tier of international competition.
What I am trying to achieve will see Ice Blacks fans enjoy the most comprehensive coverage of the national team ever seen. But such an effort doesn’t come for free.
Needing help to cover the costs of flights, travel insurance for camera gear, plus the three weeks working freelance as a video journalist and media manager for the team, I have started up a Givealittle page – to find out more please take the time to check it out and consider making a donation. There are also corporate sponsorship opportunities available.
One thing I really wanted to do last year but didn’t have the time for was implement a new section for this website that would be dedicated to tracking NZIHL stats.
My aim is that it can be a valuable resource for the community, namely the volunteer livestream commentators, with the required info available with a simple click – so I’m open to hearing suggestions of what you would like to see from this.
The NZIHL use the IIHF’s Hydra system which displays information using PDF files. It’s basic, it works, but having to download those files every time you want an update (depending on your browser of choice) is a pain in the ass.
This will involve a fair amount of data entry – so if there’s anyone who has an interest in stats that wants to help out, hit us up!
It would be amazing if analytics (such as GameScore) could be part of this, but unfortunately the NZIHL does not track the necessary stats for this to happen. Although if they could start counting hits that would be great!
Along with the podcast and the documentaries, Puck Yeah will continue to be heavily involved with providing news updates and promotions of the NZIHL, the Ice Blacks, the Ice Fernz, and plenty more NZ hockey action through our social media channels.
The game highlights, including segments like goals/saves of the week, will be back of course – making those videos is my favourite part of this whole thing.
It’s awesome to see Kiwi hockey fans bringing that passion online and I love that Puck Yeah can be a part of that. Thanks so much for taking the time to read our articles, listen to the podcast, or watch the videos we produce.
Here’s to an incredible year of New Zealand ice hockey!
Main photo: James Allan