If you missed Ryan’s announcement on Monday, he is stepping down from Canes Country and the reason why was revealed today: our boy is the new Hurricanes beat reporter for The Hockey News. I couldn’t be more excited for him, personally, and I know you all share that sentiment.
In fact, when he first brought up the potential of this career move to myself and a few others in our staff Slack, I couldn’t push him out the door fast enough. Not because I wanted to lose him, but because job opportunities like this don’t come around often and when they do, you'd better jump on them lest you end up with a terrible case of what could have been.
I’ll get to the immediate future of CC shortly, but I want to take a step back and look at the legacy that this site has created.
This August will mark seven years since I became the managing editor of this site, which is mind blowing to me. In that time, nearly a dozen writers or photographers who have come through our doors and served on our staff have moved on to full-time work in sports media or other types of journalism or media relations.
Think about that for a second. That’s an astonishing track record. I’m not sure I would believe it myself had it not been for counting them all up on my whiteboard earlier this afternoon.
And they accomplished this while writing for a site covering the Carolina freaking Hurricanes! It’s not like we are covering a major market team. Far from it. But CC has a long and proud tradition of serving as a launchpad for careers in media, and I’m extremely hopeful that we will be able to continue that legacy.
When I took the reins, my ultimate goal was for CC to be recognized as an authoritative source of information and reporting surrounding the Hurricanes, covering news and analysis from a fan’s perspective but with an honest and fair journalistic approach. I think we have met that goal, and then some, and I look forward to that tradition continuing.
SB Nation’s leadership has been in contact regarding next steps. I am hopeful that we’ll have a new managing editor in place for the start of free agency on July 1. (That person will not be me, although I will be serving as a temporary placeholder to mind the shop until whoever is hired begins in their role.)
However, the simple fact of the matter is that our staff has dwindled over the past few years, mostly due to the downstream effects of the pandemic but also because of some very talented writers moving on to new opportunities in their careers. The first challenge of the new managing editor will be to rebuild that staff, making sure that we have the people to provide you with the coverage of the Hurricanes that you’ve come to expect from us.
You will likely see some new names on the masthead in the coming months. We’ll be sure to introduce you to the new folks as they come on board.
Where does that leave content for the summer? Well, we plan to start our season in review series this Friday, and that will carry us through the end of July. We’ll also have free agency to cover, and semi-regular Storm Advisory posts although those will likely be fewer and further between than normal.
Essentially, we’ll be taking a step back in content until about Labor Day, not totally leaving things to twist in the wind but recognizing that we have some big transitions to manage on the back end. The hope is that by the time we get to the start of training camp in September we’ll be ready to go with normal coverage levels again.
One last personal note: prior to Ryan’s new opportunity, I had mentioned to him that I was planning to step back from regular contributions at the end of the playoffs. Obviously that time frame has shifted somewhat, but once a new managing editor is in place, I do intend to follow through on that plan.
You’ll still see me around at times, as I hope to continue doing things in the background (like setting up the season in review, managing the playoff pick ‘em and so on) and checking in on the comments from time to time, and I hope to occasionally get down to Tampa to cover games when the Hurricanes swing through.
I am so, so proud of Ryan, as I am of all of our past staff who have gone on to bigger and better things. We still have a small staff, most of whom have been around a very long time at this point, and it’s my honor to continue to work alongside them.
You should be proud too. After all, if it wasn’t for you reading what we’ve put into the world for the last seven years, none of this would be possible.
Onward to bigger and better things!