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.

 

Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks, at team practice, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington VA, 2011.  He talks us through his mental and physical pre-game warmup, sideways splits and all, in our new 4-minute audio slideshow.  See what he says about his “stupid stick handles”…

Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks, at team practice, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington VA, 2011.  He talks us through his mental and physical pre-game warmup, sideways splits and all, in our new 4-minute audio slideshow.  See what he says about his “stupid stick handles”…

Wall of gloves, Washington Capitals equipment room, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington VA, February 2012

Wall of gloves, Washington Capitals equipment room, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington VA, February 2012

Sneak preview of a new Hockey Diaries feature coming this week. As Capitals’ Head Equipment Manager, Brock Myles prides himself on being ready for anything, anywhere, anytime.

Sneak preview of a new Hockey Diaries feature coming this week. As Capitals’ Head Equipment Manager, Brock Myles prides himself on being ready for anything, anywhere, anytime.

what it feels like

On game day today, thinking back on our trip to Pittsburgh a year ago for Hockey Diaries: Winter Classic 2011 and probably our favorite made-for-radio quote about skating outdoors, from then-Penguin forward Michael Rupp. 

MEDIACHAMELEON: "Can you describe to someone on the radio what it feels like to skate outside, what are the sensations that are different to you?  What would you say?”

RUPP: “Did you ever go swimming in the nude? It’s kind of similar to that, I guess. It’s (laughs) it just feels, I don’t know, it feels… you just, it’s just… it’s freeing experience. Like you’re just in there, and you got the air around you, you can see it, it just… it’s a pretty cool feeling. I guess that’s a bad example, but it’s what I got.”

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For the season-long radio documentary “Hockey Diaries: Change The Game”, Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau recorded a diary entry in early Dec 2010 about the emotion of trading forward Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche.  (Fleischmann is now under contract with the Florida Panthers.)

Fonts, lights, signage

A few pictures of some of the cool retro-ish details at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, site of this week’s Washington Capitals vs. Nashville Predators pre-season NHL game.  

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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.

At the end of the 2010-11 regular season, goaltender Braden Holtby sat down to talk about what it was like to work with goaltending coach Dave Prior. He talked about Prior’s coaching philosophies and approach, and what he’s learned from him in his career so far.

The interview was recorded as part of the independent multimedia series "Hockey Diaries". The latest documentary, Change The Game, chronicles the Washington Capitals 2010-2011 season through the eyes of Holtby, forward Matt Hendricks, and head coach Bruce Boudreau. You can listen to (or download) the piece on the Washington Capitals website, and follow us for more material and project updates.