Hosted by longtime NHL and NWHL PR executive and New York Times Hockey writer Chris Botta, the Hockey Press Pass Podcast shines a light on the hockey media like never before.
Each week, Chris speaks with leading broadcasters, writers and executives around the NHL and all areas of hockey. We will learn about how they got here, their process, their triumphs and challenges. And every so often at the end of the show, Chris shares some of his experiences as Communications VP of the New York Islanders, and from his days and nights on the hockey beat.
Whether you’re a dedicated and knowledgeable fan, interested in a career in sports or even just in what goes on behind the curtain, Hockey Press Pass is for you. Presented by InStat Hockey.
Kelly Hrudey on Goaltending, Gretzky, Grating Trade Rumors, Joining the Islanders Dynasty, the Easter Epic, Broadcasting, and His Family’s Important Mission
In a hockey career spanning four decades, Kelly Hrudey has been a star goaltender for the Islanders and Kings and a highly-respected analyst on television. From beginning to end of this conversation, Hrudey wears his heart on his sleeve as he shares thoughts on his broadcasting career, his journey as a young goalie at the end of the Islanders dynasty, his 73-save heroics in the Easter Epic, what it was like to be welcomed by Wayne Gretzky and the Kings, and what he calls “the most important work of my career.”Host: Chris BottaExecutive Producer: Dani Rylan KearneyProducer: Pat Boyle Stick Taps: @MoreGoodDayscEpisode 7 Rundown:· Kelly Hrudey names the three best shooters he faced in his NHL career. · His transition from being a player to having to be critical as an analyst· Wondering about Matthew Barnaby’s on-ice reaction after Kelly ripped his play, when Kelly was broadcasting while still playing in the NHL, and how he communicates with players and executives after he has been critical · As an NHL player who had his life turned upside down when he was traded once, his reaction to being in the studio when trade rumors are being reported – and the one time he thought he was getting fired · The first time he thought he would be interested in a career in broadcasting (it actually goes all the way back to his early days with the Islanders) · We ask Kelly, “Although it’s the most important position in the game, are goaltenders too often easy targets for getting trashed by analysts, coaches and fans”?· Are there aspects of the NHL quality of play that can be better?· The advice he would give an NHLer who’s about to begin a broadcasting career· The impact of his mom and dad on how he conducts himself, but also the competitive fire that burned within· A “magical” time getting drafted in 1980 by the Islanders, who were on the road to winning four consecutive Stanley Cups· How lessons learned from Billy Smith, Al Arbour and the Islanders helped him play 15 years in the NHL· Memories of leading the Islanders to a 4-OT victory over the Caps in the Easter Epic· Why he was devastated by his trade by the Islanders, but felt better when he learned who pushed the Kings to trade for him· A “magical” time getting drafted in 1980 by the Islanders, who were about to win four consecutive Stanley Cups· How lessons learned from Billy Smith, Al Arbour and the Islanders helped him play 15 years in the NHL.· His family’s mission – what Kelly calls “the greatest work of my career”
Islanders Forecheck: The “Oh, No…People Are Picking Them to Win the Stanley Cup…This is Weird” Episode
A Hockey Press Pass bonus series, “Islanders Forecheck” will take the long view of the 2021-22 season of the New York Islanders – one that many experts have predicted will end with a Stanley Cup. In this first edition, Chris Botta and Pat Boyle...- Address the breaking news from TSN's Darren Dreger that Ryan Pulock has signed an 8-year contract extension- Predict the outcome of the team’s opening stretch of 13 straight road games- Discuss the key players for the Islanders’ start to the season, and the impact of the opening of UBS Arena in Elmont, Long Island- Make their choices for the biggest story of the brief offseason of 2021- Project goal and point totals for some of the Islanders’ top forwards- Talk about Jack Eichel, because every hockey podcast must- Respond to your questions about Oliver Wahlstrom, Chara and Greene, and a next contract for Barry Trotz- Make our picks for the Islanders Hall of Fame that hopefully will be built in UBS someday- Share where we feel things currently stand on the Islanders’ Optimism MeterHosts: Chris Botta and Pat BoyleExecutive Producer: Dani Rylan KearneyProducer: Pat BoyleSponsor: Main Street Board Game Café – www.mainstboardgamecafe.comStick-Taps: All Islanders media, bloggers, podcasters, and fans, and the Islanders’ PR, digital and social media staffs.
The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian on Journalism, Social Media, and Life on the NHL Beat; Chris with a Tale of Fake Islanders Owner John Spano
In our first discussion with a reporter on the daily beat of an NHL team, the skilled and tenacious Hailey Salvian of The Athletic provides important details about her coverage of the Ottawa Senators and now on the Calgary Flames. This is a brutally honest conversation about reporting on the NHL, developing a network of allies and sources, and learning how to deal with criticism (or worse) on social media. We are grateful to Hailey for sharing her experiences with us. Later on, Chris responds to a listener’s question about the first time he started to think John Spano may not have been the very rich guy he pretended to be while buying the New York Islanders. Host: Chris BottaExecutive Producer: Dani Rylan KearneyProducer: Pat Boyle Stick Taps: @haileysalvian, @katieJStrang, @friedgeHNIC, @JeffMarek, @SeanFitzGerald, @ian_mendes
Frank Seravalli on Reporting NHL Scoops, Unveiling the Kraken Expansion Draft (and Getting Heat for it), and What to Expect at the Trade Deadline
In an honest and direct conversation about breaking news in the NHL, Frank Seravalli revisits his scoops around the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft and reveals how one executive made a persuasive case about where he may have crossed the line. Seravalli’s candor about journalism, competition, career choices, sourcing and style is a rare look inside the approach of hockey’s news-breakers. Frank also gives fans a preview of potential moves before the NHL trade deadline and discusses the impact of the Dougie Hamilton and Seth Jones contracts on the market for prospective free agents.Host: Chris BottaExecutive Producer: Dani Rylan KearneyProducer: Pat BoyleSeries presented by: InStat HockeyEpisode sponsored by: DraftKings
Craig Button of TSN & NHL Network: When an ex-GM Becomes a Commentator on Other GMs’ Drafts, Trades and Free Agent Signings; Chris on Zdeno Chara’s Return
Craig Button is passionate about the game. In a revealing discussion, the former Calgary Flames GM and Stanley Cup-winner with Dallas takes us inside team preparation for the NHL trade deadline and the scouting process. Among other topics, Button shares his views on what makes Lou Lamoriello successful, and why strong ownership is crucial for success in the NHL. On the broadcasting side, Button explains his approach to dishing out and receiving criticism and acknowledges that sometimes the fiery debates in the studio continue after the show is over. By request, the episode concludes with our reaction to Zdeno Chara’s return to the Islanders and Chris sharing some stories from the future Hall of Famer’s first stint with the team. Host: Chris BottaExecutive Producer: Dani Rylan KearneyProducer: Pat Boyle Series Presented by: InStat HockeyEpisode Sponsored by: DraftKings
Howie Rose Talks Islanders, Rangers, Mets, the Craft of Hockey and Baseball Play-by-Play, and His Future in the Booth
Howie Rose was a kid from New York who lived the dream of becoming the play-by-play announcer for the Islanders on TV and Mets and Rangers on the radio. In this episode, Howie shares a lot of inside information about his process and experiences calling games in MLB and the NHL, and exclusively talks about his future in the broadcast booth. In the second segment, Howie discusses his seasons as the Islanders’ play-by-play man. The show closes with Chris and producer Pat Boyle naming their favorite announcers, along with some of the choices that Press Pass listeners submitted via Twitter (@ChrisBottaNHL). Presented by InStat Hockey. Sponsored by DraftKings.Host: Chris BottaExecutive Producer: Dani Rylan KearneyProducer: Pat Boyle