Off the Record: Disappointing change to blog summit hurts the event

It’s been nearly five years since I decided to start this little boondoggle called Two in the Box. I had spent a month blogging about my time at the Vancouver Olympics and I decided it was a good time and that I’d continue the fun when I got home.

My time as a venomous, small time, basement brigadier has given me the chance to keep writing on a semi-regular basis about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. It’s been fun and it’s even given me the chance to take on some cool opportunities. One of those opportunities is the ability to receive a press pass at Sabres home games. Another is access into the back room of Willy Wonka’s Factory – aka, the Sabres front office.

The Sabres have been running blog summits with slightly more regularity than my writing schedule over the past few years. I’ve personally made it to four or five of the meet ups and they’ve all featured their own level of intrigue for me.

My first Sabres Blog Summit occurred in the media room in press conference fashion with the Sabres PR and marketing teams on hand. Ted Black was the guest of honor and he sat at the front of the room, took our questions and answered them earnestly. Whether it was a question about the chances of starting a regional sports network, the return of the Frozen Four or the makeup of the roster, he addressed everything we asked with quality information. We all reported on the process and it was massively successful.

What I took away from the summits featuring Black was the positive discourse and his willingness to answer each question to the best of his ability. Hell, he all but confirmed that the Sabres were going to retire Dominik Hasek’s number once he was retired at a previous summit. Those encounters with Black as the MC not only gave us a chance to voice our opinions but to get answers and report back on them. It was a terrific practice that was unique in many ways.

Somewhere along the lines all of that changed. Continue reading