The re-launch of Point Blank is this Thursday, September 25. Please remember to set your dials to http://www.islanderspointblank.com/. If everything falls into place, there should be plenty of reading material on the new site by the time you wake up in the morning. The old site, the one you’re reading now, will self-destruct a few days later.
I’m real excited about the new Word Press blog, designed by a Long Island company called Generations Beyond. There has been the expected (and even understandable) cynicism toward the notion of my new space being a truly independent blog. I thought a long time about how I would fight it. Then I realized the only way is to work my ass off, dig hard, get creative, be honest and let everyone decide for themselves.
Islanderspointblank.com starts Thursday with, among other posts, a fairly comprehensive review of the Islanders roster at the NHL level. I have implemented a player rating system, state whether the coaching change is a plus or minus for each player and have an Eastern Conference pro scout provide his view of the defensemen and a Western Conference assistant coach analyze the Islanders’ forwards.
In those three days when the Islanders are wrapping up in Canada and I’m closing out some business on Long Island, there could be as many as 15 updates. When the Islanders start back at Iceworks a week from today, I’ll be there waiting for them.
Point Blank will cover the Islanders season as a beat, but from a different perspective. Greg Logan of Newsday will do what he does and continue to do it well. I hope the Daily News, Post and Times are also around more regularly and you'll have my old pals from the NYI Blog Box. Point Blank will do it a bit differently. For example, if the Islanders have an early regular season road game, Newsday and newyorkislanders.com will have comprehensive reports on the game. Point Blank may instead decide to blog all day from Bridgeport on the development of Joensuu and company. While we will be all over major stories like Kyle Okposo’s rookie season and Rick DiPietro’s health, there will be plenty of times when we won’t do the mainstream.
There will be a regular item called Checklist, where you help write the story with me. The first list: How This Season Will Be Judged. There will be an NHL notes column, like all the newspapers used to have in the old days. There will be Features, such as an in-depth look at what led to the selection of one of the Islanders’ second round picks this summer and a story about a member of the Islanders hockey staff who had his car blown up (not with him in it). There will be Experiences, first-person accounts of some notorious or wonderful events in team history. Most of all there will be breaking news, scoops and plenty of opinions.
Oh yeah, and we’re working out details with a Long Island establishment for the first Point Blank Night: TV coverage of an Islanders road game, wine-tasting, appetizers, a special guest, plenty of hockey talk. I hope to see you there, probably November 6.
Thank you to everyone for the kind words about the news of the re-jiggered blog and even to passionate critics like the Rangers blogger Scotty Hockey for trying to keep me honest on its independence. I’m confident there will be plenty you’ll like about the new blog and some you might think really stinks. (Hey, sometimes you have to experiment). But it will never be boring, will never go very long without updates and, hopefully above all else, will be a lot of fun.
Thank you also to the many fans and bloggers offering to be part of Point Blank. At the opening, I will have to go it alone. Soon after, I will be add one experienced blogger as a guest editor so I can work on another project (there is a possibility of a small broadcast gig) and so my family doesn't leave me - at least this season. I’m also looking at a videographer so we can maybe add some post-game interviews to the site. Not to sound like Mike Francesa, but please give me some time to put it all together.
Maybe against my better judgment, the Comments area of the new blog will be wide-open from the start. I will only moderate if it turns profane or unwieldy. Please let me know right from the start if Point Blank is working for you. I can’t wait to get started.
Thanks again, everybody…CB