We're Chris Nelson and Gemma Hooley, independent producers who create sound-rich storytelling on the radio and online. We seek out stories about everything from hockey players in North America to wildlife biologists in South Africa. All the content on our tumblr site is recorded, written, shot and owned by us, unless we indicate otherwise. Thanks for visiting.
One of the things people often ask us about the Hockey Diaries project is how much the players “like” keeping the diaries. As you would guess, it varies from player to player!
If you’ve had a chance to listen, you’ll know that forward Matt Hendricks and goaltender Braden Holtby agreed to be the diary-keepers for the 2010-11 season. Matt will tell you straight up that he didn’t love talking into the diary recorder! It wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm, lack of trying, or lack of something to say. He kept it with him all season long. It was there every day on his nightstand, at home and on the road. It traveled many miles in his hockey bag. Matt’s roommate on the road was defenseman Tyler Sloan, our diary-keeper for the 2009-10 season. He gave Matt pointers and encouragement, and can actually be heard in the background of some diary entries, egging him on or helping Matt finish a crossword puzzle. Matt kept at it all season, and turned in a long list of great diary entries in the end… but he says it never really came easy to him.
When we sat down to give Braden his recorder at the beginning of the season, and talk through the project, we suggested he think about his diary entries as just leaving a voicemail message for a friend. Braden spent quite a bit of time on the road last year driving between Washington and Hershey, and then driving back home to Saskatchewan at the end of the season. He recorded a bunch of diaries while he was driving, many of them quite lengthy, rolling conversations! Listening back to those diary entries was like being on the journey with him. He, too, turned in a stellar diary performance.
When we make the documentaries, we might edit some diary entries down a bit to keep them focused. Others we have to leave out all together. But as the players were generous enough to record their thoughts so honestly, we thought we’d use this space to bring you the expanded versions of some of the audio diary recordings from the latest documentary. So if you have a few minutes, here are Matt Hendricks’ very first diary entries, when he was still getting used to the idea and the recorder. And a long diary entry from Braden Holtby, recorded later in the season in Hershey, when he was resting an injury, and spending time alone at home while his teammates were on the road.
In this outtake from the Washington Capitals locker room, hear what St. Cloud graduate Andrew Gordon thought when he heard fellow alum Matt Hendricks had been invited to training camp for the 2010-2011 season, one year ago. And in this year’s Hockey Diaries documentary, premiering Monday 9/19, you’ll hear what Hendricks thought about competing with Gordon for a job.
Where to listen: The hour-long documentary Hockey Diaries: Change The Game, featuring the season-long diaries of Matt Hendricks, Braden Holtby and Bruce Boudreau, will debut live on Monday 9/19 at 6-7pmET on NHL XM 92. Starting Tuesday, you’ll be able to hear the piece online on the Caps website.
Also on Monday 9/19, at around 8:40am, we’ll be talking to Mike Ross on NHL XM 92 about the making of the piece. And on The Power Play NHL XM 92 between 5:30 and 6:00pm, Bruce Boudreau and Matt Hendricks will talk about their Hockey Diaries experiences. Hope you get a chance to listen.
Continuing our prelude to this year’s Hockey Diaries doc, here’s an audio diary entry from goaltender Braden Holtby, the night before his first NHL start. His thoughts, his family’s plans, his focus … in his own words.