August 29 2014 08:07AM
TheLeafsNation.com's Next TLN Blogger contest finally has its Final Five!
The response really was overwhelming. We received almost 100 applications to become the newest contributor for this site. Narrowing everything down to just five people was extremely hard. Justin Fisher and I burned the midnight oil earlier this week and we finally have our five. Here they are in their own words...
transform myself into a scorer, or...uh...writer.
STEVE SAYS: Dakoda's experience in design was a big draw. He had one of the better-looking writing samples submitted to us. We liked his "Reimer's last stand" submission and his piece on the future of NHL jerseys. A big reason Dakoda is around for the Final Five is we want to see what else he's got.
My name is Shawn Reis. I'm a former blogger at the now-defunct Leafs HQ and I currently run my own little blog at hellohockey.blogspot.com. I love long walks on the beach, writing, and the Leafs.
STEVE SAYS: Shawn had actually been trying to get our attention to write for us for some time. When I read his application, I felt dumb for not listening to him sooner. Shawn included a ridiculously thorough chart about goalies' save percentages, shots per game, and goals against. Another item of his we really enjoyed was his speculation as to who could be the next CEO of MLSE.
Born and raised in the heart of Toronto, Adam Laskaris' proudest accomplishments include but are not limited to: scoring four goals in a hockey game while keeping his pants on, running into Nazem Kadri at a movie theatre, and owning a batting glove from a charity softball game owned by none other than former 30-goal scorer David Clarkson. Adam currently attends Queen's University (located mere minutes from the birthplace of Doug Gilmour), where he covers the men's hockey team for the campus newspaper. Adam's ambition is to create more accessible content of various forms for TLN, making it easier than ever for anyone to understand the often confusing, sometimes heart-breaking, never dull roller coaster that comes with following the Toronto Maple Leafs.
STEVE SAYS: Adam's experience really impressed us. He just writes wherever he goes. He also did something throughout his application that was a rarity: He noted some of the things this site lacks and how he would improve the site as a whole. His piece on Leafs defencemen and WOWY stats was very strong, too.
The Sabres pumped 8 goals past CuJo during the first Leafs game I remember watching; that was 15 years ago and I've been smitten ever since. Fun fact: I know which team won the cup pretty much every year because of my love of hockey history, new and old. I'm 22 and very seriously considering sports journalism as a career, so this is an amazing opportunity for me. I'm excited to get going and can't wait for you guys to read my posts!
STEVE SAYS: As the story goes, Wesley says he didn't find out about this contest until the day applications were due because he was at a cottage. Still, he sent in two pieces, both of which were intriguing, fun to read, and made us think. His take on the ExtraSkater.com mystery (which is no longer a mystery, of course) and his piece about the Leafs' question marks on the penalty kill kept us interested top to bottom.
Dane likes to dance like nobody is watching, especially when they are. Dane is a die hard hockey fan and a comedian and looks to bring some new, exciting, and mostly hilarious content to The Leafs Nation by combining his two loves. While he was born to entertain and certainly has a silly side he can also look critically upon the game from an analytical standpoint and offer some new insights. Currently he works with the Waterloo Warriors football, men's and women's hockey teams, the Cambridge Winterhawks of the GOJHL, and the Cambridge Lions of the OVFL looking to get whatever announcing experience he can en route to his dream job of becoming a play-by-play commentator in the NHL.
STEVE SAYS: Dane's NSFW video application literally had us crying with laughter. Tears! Then we checked his writing samples, and as it turns out, the maniac actually knows what he's talking about. We really liked what he had to say about the NHL's often-boring All-Star Game. What else can he do?
And here we go...
Once again I want to thank everybody who applied. It was extremely difficult to narrow it down at all, let alone pick just five people for the final. There were a lot of really capable writers, artists, podcasters, and video bloggers in who applied and will undoubtedly make me look like a moron one day and I look forward to that day! A few very unique applicants were reached out to individually, too. We'll see what happens!
Now as for the five folks you read about above, they'll be writing a lot in the coming days and weeks. We're going to make each of them create five - yes FIVE - posts each about a variety of topics. Some of the topics will be news-related and others will be freestyle. I know I can't wait to see what they've got and I hope you're all jacked, too!
Here they are! Send them a follow and let the games begin!