October 07 2011 11:56AM
The new season is finally upon us. The sun rises on 2011-12 and with it a new dawn for the Nations Network. We've added some new sites and new faces this summer and are currently working away in Wanye's secret hide-out on future various plans and schemes. Here's a little of what you can expect from us this season:
OilersNation will continue be a guiding light, featuring our eccentric overlord, as well as Lowetide's mix of modernity and nostalgia, Jonathan Willis' rigorous analysis and the access and insight of Jason Gregor and Robin Brownlee. FlamesNation will keep on on keepin' on and has added new-comers Vintage Flame and Robert Vollman to the a roster that already featured Robert Cleave's lucid prose, Steinberg's dulcet tones and my own self-importance and verbosity.
CanucksArmy and LeafsNation awakened from long slumbers this offseason, led repsectively by Thomas Drance and Julian Sanchez (Pension Plan Puppets). The Army also features the incorrigible Cam Davie, new-comer and fantasy hockey expert Jeff Angus and an ever growing, rotating cast of contributors. Psychology buff Danny Gray and the stats-focused JP Nikota joined the LN team not too long ago and have been pumping out quality content ever since. Lastly, The '67 sound adds both stats and satire to the mix.
Of course, the Jets are back in Winnipeg and are also the newest members of the Nation family. Lowetide's buddy Dean Belanger heads up things over there, assisted by FlamesNation writer (but Winnipeg resident) Robert Cleave as well as Winnipeg Whiteout blogger Matthew Eichel and FN contributor search finalist Marty Clarke.
Readers will also notice some guest appearances from time-to-time. Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy may stop by to tell you how much your favorite team sucks. Cam Charron of Nucks Misconduct and the Score's new blog Backand Shelf will drop in here and there to add his research and insight. Russian correspondent Andrey Osadchenko will also keep us abreast of kids and players from across the pond. Finally, Prospect and Draft site Future Considerations will be sending us updates and scouting reports on future players of interest a couple of times a month going forward.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
Along with more talent and material than ever before, schemes are being hatched to make over the ol' Casa Di Nations this year. When Wanye offered me a contract to take over as the Network's managing editor (written in crayon on a napkin), he asked me for list a few changes or alterations I'd like to see in the platform. I gave him an 18-page document, double-sided, with diagrams and foot-notes.
Not to say what we're working with here isn't perfect, of course. Just that it could be, uh, a little more perfect if you catch my drift. The Nations unfortunate development team (captured and caged a few years ago) is working their way through my list of demands and trying to figure how to get them out the door in a timely manner.
TO DO LIST FOR WANYE
Here is a few things you can expect to seeat some point coming up:
- Better social media integration. Re-tweet buttons! Like buttons! Digg buttons! Stalk buttons! Shrug buttons! Snort derisively buttons! etc.
- Improved commenting. We're not going to commit to anything specific here. Just that it will be better.
- Better blogging platfrom. Okay, so most of you probably don't care about this. For that that do: we're trying to add a few things to the back-end to make our contributor's lives easier and, hopefully, their contributions a bit better as well.
- Improved NHLnumbers. The black sheep of the family, NHLnumbers was re-skinned and re-vamped when it was added to the network not too long ago. Now we're looking to add some new stats and functionality to the mix with an ultimate goal of making it the premiere advanced analytics site on the internet. Numbers folks rejoice - we have gotten our message to Wanye & Co and the early plans for this look pretty amazing.
- More premium content. Along with the emergent NationRadio program in Edmonton, the Network plans to add a few more in other markets around the country. And if not radio shows, then podcasts. And if not podcasts, then crudely drawn flip-book animations. And so forth. In addition, our own Jonathan Willis will continue to dream up and produce great stuff like his recent Fantasy Draft Primer (last day to buy, by the way).
We aren't terribly sure when any changes or going to take effect. Wanye says we're "shooting for before the Oilers make the playoffs again." Sonner would be better, of course.
So that's the lay of the land folks. Thanks to all our regular readers, from the commenters to the lurkers. And welcome to all you new readers in whatever form you make take. Here's hoping we can continue to entertain and/or aggravate you this year.