Second City Hockey Site Manager update

Introducing the new site manager and my Blackhawks story.

Fellow Blackhawks fans and Second City Hockey enthusiasts,

My name is Matt Lucas and I am going to be your new Site Manager. Brandon is handing the keys to the kingdom over to me this week. I just wanted to introduce myself, tell a story about the Hawks, and provide some updates about the direction of the site for the foreseeable future.

I have been playing and watching hockey for as long as I can remember. My father pushed me out onto the rink at Johnny’s Ice House when I was 3 years old. During the glory days, I played for the Chicago Young Americans, the Highland Park Falcons, and a few other youth teams cross the Chicagoland Area. Most weekends were spent on the road with my father and other teammates, at a rink in the middle of nowhere, or playing in prospect tournaments. If it was not for my family supporting me every step of the way, I would have never grown to love the game of hockey as much as I do now.

I decided to stay away from junior leagues and headed out east to get a degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Luckily, there were a handful of passionate hockey players in a similar boat, so we decided to create a club hockey team. Once I graduated, I happily became a rink rat in a number of Beer Leagues (If any of you play in adult leagues at MB Ice Arena or Johnny’s, I hope to see you on the ice). Beer League is the last stop in my playing career, but I did not want that to be the only hockey fix I got during the week, so I channeled my focus to getting a job that somehow associated me with another one of my passions. The Blackhawks.

My Blackhawks story starts when I was 8 years old. I had just started playing more intense youth hockey and I was looking for someone to look up to and motivate me on the ice. My dad thought it would be the perfect time to take me to my first Hawks game at the Madhouse on Madison. On the way there, he talked about all the games he went to at the Chicago Stadium where he felt like he could fall onto the ice from his seat at any minute. He explained the anthem tradition, and told me stories about being able to watch Mikita (RIP, you legend), the Golden Jet, Tony O, Savard, and countless other legends that are up in the United Center banners.

We get to our seats and the first thing I see on the jumbotron is a video that seems like it is straight from “Braveheart.” My dad and his friend, who tagged along, turned to me and said, this is where Tuomo Rutuu came from and this is his family pumping him up before the game. I was transfixed. I watched number 15 all game. I don’t remember if we won or lost that game, but I knew that I had found a new hobby. As I grew older, I started to go to more and more games and started to pay close attention to the Hawks. Remember when you could pick up tickets for $20 in the nosebleeds and then move to the 100 sections during the first or second intermission? I picked up the Committed Indian every game I went, followed lineup changes, news, trades and call ups from the AHL as best I could.

Fast forward to Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. Somehow I was there. I was with my best friend watching the team most of my childhood centered around hoist the Stanley Cup (something I could only ever dream about doing as a player). I was hugging random fans next to me in the nosebleeds and jumping with joy like I was little kid again. I remember vividly just sitting down, looking around the rink, scanning the banners above me and just breaking down in my seat. That night is a memory I will never forget and will hopefully get to tell my kids about.

My dad taught me to love the game of hockey and the Hawks. As the Site Manager, I hope to extend that passion and love I have for this great game and franchise in everything I do.

Here are some of my goals for Second City.

  1. Increase fan participation - surveys, polls, threads, meet ups, and more.
  2. Add more analytics, stats, and video clips to recaps and commentary.
  3. Update a few lingering bugs in the system and keep the site running as smoothly as possible.
  4. Add depth charts, stats, draft picks, and prospect rankings to the home page. Second City Hockey should be your dashboard for all things Blackhawks related.
  5. Drive new fans to the site through social media marketing.
  6. Continue to evolve the podcast, and occasionally have some some players, former players, and other members of the hockey community join the discussion.
  7. Make Second City Hockey the most popular NHL site on SB Nation (we need your help to reach that goal, so keep commenting, reading, and suggesting new ideas and topics across the site. We want to hear from you and to make this site the best possible experience for your Hawks fandom).

I am looking forward to pursuing these goals with Brandon, Dave, Brad, Shalyn, Nick, and all of you Hawks fans.  Let’s all help push the Hawks to their one goal.

Go Hawks!