Hockey Writers Give NHL Players High Marks
Haughton, Jim, Editor & Publisher
Sportswriters covering the National Hockey League find it one of the most pleasant assignments in professional sports because the players are, perhaps, the most cooperative in all pro sports.
Hockey writers may have some problems with particular team front offices and are often critical of league management, but say they enjoy covering both the practices and games because players are usually available, easy to deal with, and do not display the gruffness that sometimes surfaces in other professional sports.
"Players are easy to get along with and you don't have to worry about the ego problem," explained Cynthia Lambert, hockey writer for the Detroit News. She was in Philadelphia for the National Hockey League's 43rd annual all-star game.
"Wayne Gretzky [Los Angeles Kings] is one of the most genuine people you'll ever meet. He'll sit down for a half-hour or 45-minute interview," she said.
Lambert, now in her fifth year covering the Red Wings, also said she has had none of the locker room problems that have plagued some women writers covering other professional sports.
Viv Bernstein, now in her second season covering pro hockey for the Hartford (Conn.). Courant, agrees that women writers find it very comfortable dealing with NHL players.
"They're very easy to deal with. You don't find any big egos. I hope they respect me based on my work," said Bernstein, who began covering hockey for the Binghamton, N.Y., Press & Sun-Bulletin.
Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times, now in his third season covering pro hockey, said that, while some NHL team and league front offices may be "less efficient and much less helpful than in other sports," he finds the players easy to deal with. …