Well, let’s see where this takes us. Hi folks, my name is Jeremy Dewar and this is The Entry Level Contract, a hockey blog focusing on the sport of hockey up until the point an entry level contract is signed. Some of you reading this may be familiar with my writing in the past, as for 3 years I was a hockey writer for The Only Colors, a Michigan State blog hosted by SB Nation. I loved my time at The Only Colors, covering MSU hockey which I have been a fan of since attending games at Munn Arena at 7 months old. The Only Colors gave me the chance to write again, what was once my career goal until I walked on campus at Grand Valley State University in the fall of 2007 and saw the journalism industry on fire (a trend that has continued in this the summer of pivoting to video in 2017).
I loved my time at The Only Colors, working under Chris Vannini, Pete Rossman and Joe Tooey. We had a great group of writers over there and I made a ton of friends through that experience. However, the spring of 2016 would signal the end of my time there after three seasons. It was not due to any problems with new leadership, but rather was the result of a career change, as I was finishing graduate school and beginning a career at Michigan State as an academic advisor. I was not told to stop writing, but I felt that I did not want a student athlete to enter my office and feel uncomfortable talking to me, afraid that they were talking to someone who was covering the team.
I missed an eventful season writing about Michigan State in 2016-17. First, came the sad news that Ron Mason, a personal hero of mine, had passed away in the summer of 2016. I joined The Only Colors for a podcast talking about all that Mason had done for the program but was unable to write any further. Then came another disappointing season on the ice for the Spartans, leading to coach Tom Anastos resigning at the end of the season. Danton Cole was hired, and once again I joined Vannini for the TOC podcast to talk about the hire of a coach I had been advocating for years prior. I found the desire to write growing like wildfire, in accordance with my excitement for what lie ahead for the Spartans. The question was how do I do this without running into the same issue that led to having to leave TOC? Write under a ghost name? Well sure ok but then again people would know it was me still by my incessant tweeting of my own stories. Also, maybe I am a dumb millennial but my pie in the sky dream is to turn writing into a side hustle for some maybe some small amount of income to pay for hockey tickets and equipment or student loan blood money.
After months of kicking ideas around in my head I settled on the scope of this blog I am starting today. It was spurned by a post I wrote for SB College Hockey after the US had defeated Canada to win the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. I love all aspects of hockey from seeing young mites all the way through to the NHL, but particularly I love junior and NCAA hockey. It makes sense, as I chose to work with college students as a career, but I just love watching young players before they achieve their pro dreams. For all the problems the NHL has; poor league management, player safety, marketing, bad expansion, which drives fans crazy I never understand why they don’t seek out other avenues to enjoy the game without all the overt corporate lording that ruins the NHL to them. This blog is about that part of the game, the grassroots that supplies players to the NHL.
Now, I am based in East Lansing, MI and don’t have the resources to travel to all the USA Hockey Select Festivals, purchase streaming games for the USHL/NAHL and college hockey leagues. This blog will lean heavy on covering local Michigan players and teams but will keep an eye on the national landscape as well. It will touch the NHL, but only in regards to the draft and the pursuit of college free agents. The same will be done with respect to Canadian major junior leagues, as I will cover their drafts and talk about the impact with regards to NCAA eligible players. At times this blog may lean heavy on MSU coverage, but I will do my best to spread the coverage around. This is an evolving blog, I have a nebulous idea of where I want this to go, but where it truly goes will change over time. I am glad to have each of you aboard for the ride and please follow me on twitter, @elc_jeremy or @jeremy_dewar, so we can interact and you can share ideas on where to take this blog. Now that we know each other, let’s do this thing and have some fun.
EDITOR’s NOTE: The site was previously hosted at a different blog site that was far inferior to wordpress, hence the new location.