We at the Seattle Sin Bin are done moping.
The lack of Seattle NHL expansion applications was a punch to the gut, but we are no longer doubled over. We are standing up straight and moving forward with our coverage of hockey in the Pacific Northwest.
We haven't given up on the NHL dream, and will continue to cover and support the effort to land a franchise. The SoDo and Tukwila arenas continue to march toward a shovel-ready condition and there are some potential relocation candidates in the next few years.
We will spend more effort, however, on covering teams that actually exist. We will cover the US Division of the Western Hockey League, which has five franchises in the Pacific Northwest: the Tri-City Americans, the Spokane Chiefs, the Everett Silvertips, the Seattle Thunderbirds, and the Portland Winterhawks. On the college front, we will cover the Washington Huskies. We will also staff the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League.
When hockey season rolls around, we will publish at least one article a week for each of those teams. It will be a lot of work, but we've added beat writers to accomplish this.
It's important to note that the Seattle Sin Bin is hosted by Sonics Rising, whose primary mission will always be to bring the Sonics back to Seattle. They have allowed us to cover hockey here because of the related arena issue, and have graciously allowed us to expand our coverage far beyond that initial scope. For the most part, this will be done on separate layouts from the basketball side.
Meet Our Staff
I've asked each member of our writing team to introduce themselves. Please welcome them.
CONTRIBUTOR AT LARGE
I'm a software engineer and huge hockey fan originally from San Jose, California. As one might guess, I have been a die-hard Sharks fan since fourth grade when the Sharks finished their first season in the Shark Tank by beating Detroit in the '94 playoffs. My local hockey allegiance can be characterized as Swiss in its neutrality. I have lived in north Seattle for the last eight years so the Silvertips and T-Birds are equidistant. I attended Gonzaga so I went to plenty of Spokane Chiefs games. Basically I enjoy watching hockey in a variety of environments.
Part of my passion for hockey involves collecting autographed hockey cards as a hobby; I have most NHL players from the last twenty years plus many notable WHL players from the past to present. I'm looking forward to contributing to the site and advocating for bringing an NHL team to Seattle! Look for a Sharks jersey if you're at a WHL game; it might be me.
LOCAL HOCKEY COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS
Hello there! I'm just your average 40-something guy who works in the insurance industry and lives in Puyallup, Washington. I've been a hockey fan since the early-mid 2000s when several of my friends were really in to hockey (Detroit Red Wings). I got more involved in the sport after the Sonics left. I've really started to get involved with local hockey (WHL, etc.) in the last few years, attending 6-7 games a year and have really enjoyed myself, especially now that my son seems to be really enjoying the game as well.
This will be my first foray into writing, but I have been active in discussions with hockey fans through different online communities. I am also one half of the podcast team for the Seattle Sin Bin, which I hope will continue to bring great guests and conversations to the hockey community in the upcoming months. Mostly, I am here to help continue to grow the game in the region, as we work towards getting an NHL franchise in the area.
WHL - US DIVISION
My name is Sam Hinchee and I'll be covering the Tri-City Americans. I live in Spokane but was born and raised in the Tri-Cities rooting for the Ams. I started playing hockey at age 5 when the Toyota Center was the only rink in town and the Americans wore black and gold. I've spent the majority of my life in the Pacific Northwest, other than two short stints in Florida when I attended college. It was there I gained the passion for sports writing, covering everything from Florida State University football to high school sports to Little League baseball for the local newspaper.
I played goalie my entire youth hockey career, so naturally in the Tri-Cities my idol was Olaf Kolzig. With that also grew my love for the Washington Capitals, which continues to this day. Living in Florida provided my wife and me the chance to see the Capitals play a couple times every year in Tampa or Sunrise. Best part about hockey in Florida is the incredibly cheap tickets!
I'm very excited to be part of the team at SeattleSinBin.com and can't wait for training camp to start!
I was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and became a hockey fan after the first Mighty Ducks movie (aka the best Mighty Ducks movie). I grew up watching the Spokane Chiefs in the old Boone Street Barn and once got chewed out in front of my peers by Mike Babcock. I've witnessed a Memorial Cup tournament in Spokane, Tyler Johnson as a seven-year-old, only one goalie fight, and a Tri-City Americans player try and pick a fight with the guy sitting next to me at a preseason game (true story). I've blogged for my day job, and have covered a handful of Chiefs games the past two seasons as a freelance reporter for The Spokesman-Review.
I'm not a fan of any one team, but I do have teams that I despise: Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins (though I'm softening up on the Pens...for now). I think the handshake line at the end of playoff series should be banned, the shootout should be replaced with two-on-ones, Maurice Richard was the best all-around hockey player there ever was, and The Love Guru is a terribly underrated hockey movie.
My name is Jubilee and no, I was not named after the X-Men character. I am a Seattle sports nut that enjoys many hobbies which range from playing video games to reading comics, but the biggest is collecting trading cards and autographs. I live in Bothell and have been following hockey for almost 20 years. I started going to Thunderbird games at KeyArena when MLB was on strike and I was hooked. My favorite WHL team is the Everett Silvertips and NHL team is Chicago Blackhawks. My favorite NHL player is Jarome Iginla, and favorite former Tips are Shane Harper and Ryan Murray. I'm a sports writing/blogging noob but hope to bring much insight on the Silvertips this season.
My name is Austin Olney and I want the NHL in Seattle. In all seriousness, I'm a very recent hockey transplant. I grew up laughing at the sport, thinking about how silly it was. It took me into my twenties before I realized it was the fastest, most brutal and technically challenging sport there is. My coworker dragged me to a Silvertips game in 2013 and a few years later, I play hockey every week and during the season I attend the Silvertips at least twice a week.
I bartend to pay my bills. It isn't glamourous but it pays my mortgage and feeds my cats. It also affords me the flexibility to do the things I love: my house and hockey. I have no writing background so come see a true learning experience as I tackle all things Silvertips.
I am from Tacoma, though I have lived in various regions across the country. I have covered the T-Birds for media outlets on radio, print and online for five years, including my former radio talk show "The Sideline" on KLAY. I was the Los Angeles Kings' prospect scout for Dobber Prospects for the previous two seasons, though I admit my favorite NHL team has been the Chicago Blackhawks for many years. It was rough when my favorite ex-Thunderbird Chris Osgood was in net for so long in Detroit. I'm looking forward to this season and bringing the intensity of T-Bird hockey to the readers.
Greetings Thunderbirds fans, WHL fans, and hockey fans all over the globe. I am very excited to be given the honor of covering the T-Birds for SeattleSinBin.com this season! I have a deep love for the game of hockey, and that will be evident when you read my blog.
I'll never forget my first hockey game back in 1991. I was 10, and my dad took me to my first hockey game, to see a team called the Seattle Thunderbirds play some team called the Victoria Cougars (also known at the time as the league's doormat). We won 8-1. Of course, I had no idea how the league worked, where these places with crazy names such as Medicine Hat, Swift Current, and Moose Jaw were, but that only made me more curious. I was hooked, and I knew that my life had forever changed.
Readers can look forward to coverage that will be unbiased, honest, and fair. Statistics are very interesting to me, therefore I plan to hit the reader with lots of them. If there is a goal streak, a point drought, a booming save percentage, a plummeting +/-, you will know about it. I also am looking forward to working in tandem with my fellow SinBin US Division bloggers, especially my fellow T-Birds blogger, Pete Richmire. What readers will get from my blog is passion. Passion for the team, passion for the league, passion for the sport. It is my hope that after you read one of my blogs, you will want to strap on some skates and hit the ice yourself... Or at the very least attend a WHL hockey game.
I have been following and playing sports since the age of five, when I started playing soccer. I have played just about every sport imaginable, either on a team or just because I wanted to try it out. That is when I found my love for the game of hockey. When my father took me to a Seattle Breakers game at the Seattle Center Arena, I was hooked. I wanted to strap on the skates and play like the big boys. I studied, played, and even coached the game I love. I moved up through the ranks to Junior B when I played for the Tri-City Knights Hockey Club. I became a Winterhawks fan on February 14th, 1998, when I saw my first Winterhawks game in Portland vs. the Moose Jaw Warriors. Needless to say, I picked a good year to start liking the Hawks.
After my playing days, I was determined to stay in sports in any way I could, especially for the sport I love. I became a Game Staff Volunteer for the Portland Winterhawks for five years. This led to a career of being a Professional Mascot for The Portland Winterhawks, Portland Lumberjax, and the Portland Beavers. I do a Play by Play for the Winterhawks on Facebook, which is a volunteer job I created for all the fans who cannot see, hear, or listen to the action. And now, I am excited to be a beat writer, covering the team I love the most! GO HAWKS! I am married to a gorgeous woman, have a beautiful daughter, and two little dogs.
I'm originally from the Portland area and a lifelong follower of the Winterhawks and the NHL. As a small child, I prided myself on memorizing every Winterhawk's number, birth year and stats. My older siblings would constantly test me and usually I was right. I have followed the Hawks really closely since the 1988-89 season and consider Byron Dafoe, Scott Nichol, Todd Robinson, Andy Ference, Braydon Coburn and Ty Rattie as some of my favorite Hawks that I've seen play.
I have written on my own Winterhawks blog, Hodge's Heroes, since 2012 and the thing I've enjoyed the most has been my interaction with other WHL fans. In addition to Hodge's Heroes I have been a co-host of the 206 Sports Jocks podcast since 2013 and cover the Seattle Seahawks and other Northwest sports, as well as some popular culture. I look forward to this exciting new adventure with the Sin Bin.
Personal introduction pending.
My name is Lorenzo Z. Villalobos Jr., a Los Angeles-area native who lives in a city where Washingtonians always show their greatest love to the folks who help run it....Olympia. Okay, now that I got the sarcasm out of the way, in all seriousness I am currently an active-duty service member (for one more year until retirement) in the Army. I'm married to my wonderful wife, Michele, and we have a daughter together named Aria Bella, plus Michele's son / my stepson, Tristan, who used to play youth hockey up in Fairbanks, Alaska. My goal in life has always been sports broadcasting. I finally got a taste of it doing live play-by-play announcing online for the University of Washington Huskies hockey club. With the occasional help from an out-of-town guy who helped me do some games last season, I was able to complete my first year doing about 16 games. Like many future broadcasters, paying your own way to the road games really paid off.
This fall, I will begin my second season of Huskies hockey online. I got my start in sports blogging doing some periodic writing via Yahoo! Contributor, SportsRantz.com, and currently Puget Sound Pucks via Blogger.com. I focus on college hockey as I started following them in the mid-2000s while stationed up in Fairbanks watching the University of Alaska Nanooks, who are my favorite NCAA Division I team. My NHL team is and always will be the Los Angeles Kings, as I started following them way before then-owner Bruce McNall decided to pick up some guy named Wayne on the team, although I would say Luc Robitaille has been my favorite King.
JUST THE BEGINNING
There may be more writers added in the near future, but I'm very excited about our opening roster. I would also be remiss if I didn't express some gratitude to Tiffany Villigan for agreeing to do a bunch of editing for us. She has always made me look like a better writer than I am, and a writing staff is only as strong as its editors. Amy Rogers, who has made Otto a better man than he was, will also be doing some editing as time goes by.
As for yours truly? In addition to coordinating the new staff, I'll keep writing and podcasting about hockey. I'm really excited to be surrounded by all of this talent and passion. Let's get this party started.