Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

This is going to be my last post at CanucksArmy. As of August 1st, I am stepping down as the website’s managing editor. Before we get into that, and what it means for the website going forward, I want to tell my story, and send thanks to everyone who helped make my time here so meaningful.

I still remember getting the email from Thomas Drance to join CanucksArmy like it was yesterday. There I was, doing something resembling an apprenticeship for wallpapering, dirt poor and mostly out of writing, and then this opportunity jumped out from my beat-up iPhone’s screen.

Hope springs eternal indeed; I was ecstatic.

From there, it was a slow burn. Sportsnet writer and host of the excellent Hockey PDOcast, Dimitri Filipovic, was halfway through his tenure as the Managing Editor, and he eased me into the website, first with social content, then gamers and finally editorial content. It turned out to work perfectly, and that approach afforded me countless opportunities to just learn from the veteran writers who made this a go-to destination while carving out my own niche therein.

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As Filipovic moved on, I was fortunate enough to have Rhys Jessop take over, and my role expanded greatly. By the end of Jessop’s time at CanucksArmy, I’d become one of its most frequent contributors, and again, was fortunate enough to learn invaluable information along the way.

Then it was Jeff Veillette’s turn at the wheel, and I got the chance to be his right-hand man. In that time, Veillette taught me so, so much about what it would take to be a successful managing editor in this space, and I think that the success that followed can be traced directly to his footsteps.

Each of these people played a pivotal role in setting me up to succeed as CanucksArmy’s Managing Editor, and as a writer more broadly, and even as a person I’d like to think. Words cannot even begin to describe my gratitude for that.

I can say the same for everyone who has written at CanucksArmy during my time as editor. In Ryan Biech (more on him later) and Jeremy Davis, I had the best righthand men imaginable; in Vanessa Jang, Matthew Henderson and Grainne Downey, the best social team in the entire network; in Jackson McDonald and Petbugs, some of the most aggressively controversial, but thorough and insightful, writers on the entire Smylosphere; in Harman Dayal and Cory Hergott, some of the best up-and-comers around. And it goes on, and on.

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In my time at CanucksArmy, we’ve broken page views numbers time and again, and I know it wouldn’t have been possible if not for everyone I’ve already mentioned.

Another component, though, is the audience, and for that, you all have my unending gratitude — yes, even the people who hurl obscenities and insults at me in the comments section. CanucksArmy would be nothing if not for the readers.

It’s clear, though, that I need to move on from CanucksArmy. As the George Harrison song suggests, all things must pass, and my time at CanucksArmy is no exception to the rule.

In my stead steps Ryan Biech, who will be the interim Managing Editor of CanucksArmy. I have full confidence in Biech’s ability to not only keep the site afloat but take it to new heights. It’s good to know that this space is in good hands.

Before I part ways, I want to send one last word of thanks to Mike Gagnon from Nation Network HQ for making my job as easy as possible, and offering support where necessary.

With that, so long, and thanks for all the fish. It’s been a slice.

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  • LTFan

    I didn’t agree with more of your blogs than I agreed with. You had your opinion and so did most of the commentators on this site who were given the opportunity to express it. Good luck and success with your next position.

  • wojohowitz

    There is room for improvement in at least a couple of areas. One issue is the regularity of posting articles. Five articles in one day and then nothing for five days is something an editor should rectify.

    Another bigger issue is the growing gap between bloggers and posters. At times it shows itself as the elitism IMac became infamous for with his comment about `hobbyist/blogger`. Both sides (blogger and poster) show a lack of respect as a growing and an ongoing concern.

    • Bud Poile

      After two years of being sworn at,tirelessly denigrated and trolled relentlessly the reign of anarchy seemingly promoted by and symbolizing the outgoing editor is hopefully,thankfully ending.
      Ryan Biech’s prospect knowledge is commendable he’s optimistic and a welcome voice when he speaks-or writes.
      As the Canucks are now an organisation of young prospects with a bright future this promotion of RB fits in well with the future direction of the Canucks.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Thanks JD all the best in your future endevours…

    Guddy and Brando (just kidding),
    JD you did a good job of keeping everyone honest…All the best!!!!

  • I am Ted

    It’s about time. I am sure B. Burke was a decent guy but his poor grammar, snark, poor decision making (ex.: not writing about summer showcase), sporadic addition of articles and so on made him a poor editor. All the best wherever you’re going but I’m glad you’re off here.

  • Rodeobill

    My good-bye fan fiction, thanks for all JD!

    JD quickly collected his things from his drawers and desk, took the last half a bottle of brandy from the fully equipped bar in his used to be office. He crammed it all into a milk crate that he had once used to keep his records back in his DJing days (Back then he went as just Jibbles).
    He and the boss hadn’t seen eye to eye on some things, but tiny drancer always had his back, sure, he was a little shoot from the hip, and some days the fans seemed split, clamoring for a new regime, these were tough times for the team after all, and fans needed someone to point out the truth, be it painful at times. Fans didn’t always agree, but they always trusted him to be straight up with them. It all seemed to look as though things were going to pan out, things were turning around, and that’s when Beich finally made his move.

    He always noticed him eye balling his fancy corner office from the bullpen, but he never though it would happen like this! Secretly Ryan had been making nice with private drancer (a drancer for money, any old music will do), sharing a cup cake here, a gift of a “statisticians do it averagely” coffee mug there. It should have added up, why couldn’t he see it!? Now he was off the beat, having to move on to one of those seldom read “pay to get in” sites to blog on, reduced to meager podcast guest appearances. No more fancy jack and cokes anymore, it was back to wine coolers or lucky 8 packs.

    As Ryan came to take the keys to the fancy corner office, JD met his hand with a firm shake. “careful what you wish for Ryan” and his stony eyes panned the bullpen, at the moment frozen silent by the awkwardness of the moment, and his gaze stopped on Jackson “what goes around comes around”
    …and after a brief moment,
    “Justin Timberlake, rock on brother.” Beich met his handshake and took the keys.
    Beich didn’t feel regret. This was the real world. The strong survive and those who deserve it, make the sacrifices, get to eat at the table with the big boys, I mean what do you think this is, hockey!? He liked that, he thought. The first thing he was going to do as the new boss was go get one of those whale-breaching-the-water inspirational posters with just that one word “sacrifice” under it and put it up over the place on the office wall JD had put up petbugs Spirograph art. Ryan kicked his feet back on his big walnut desk; JD took a final look back to remember these times, and both of them thought to themselves simultaneously “amicably.”