As the Islanders correspondent for The Hockey Writers, Rob McGowan is part of a large network of NHL bloggers across the United States and Canada. However, unlike the majority of contributors to The Hockey Writers, McGowan is afforded total access to the team he covers.
“It doesn’t seem like many other bloggers have the same amount of access that I do,” said McGowan. “It really helps my blog because I can give more of an inside perspective as opposed to others.”
After stints as the Islanders correspondent for The Hockey News and The Checking Line, McGowan was offered the opportunity to contribute to The Hockey Writers, a major online platform for NHL news and fan opinion. He has been a member of the Blog Box for three seasons.
“Even in my third year, it’s still something that I look forward to and get excited about every game that I go to,” said McGowan. “Even though it’s something I try to do professionally, I’m still a fan at heart.”
In fact, the Islanders have been a part of McGowan’s life after attending a game against the Ducks at the Coliseum in 2002. He remembers sitting close to the ice and seeing hats rain down from above after Mark Parrish completed a hat trick for the Islanders. It was also promotional stick night, and McGowan began using his the next day.
“I was hooked after that game,” said McGowan. “I haven’t stopped watching the Islanders or being a fan ever since.”
Today, McGowan’s blogging revolves around major storylines affecting the team, using the access he enjoys to provide in depth coverage. Like most members of the Blog Box, McGowan appreciates the ability to interview players in the locker room after practices and games. He has also taken advantage of the opportunity to interview players over the phone, allowing him to contact prospects elsewhere.
“I was able to do a phone interview with Travis Hamonic
when he was still playing in the WHL last year,” said McGowan. “I’ve done other phone interviews with Kyle Okposo
, Josh Bailey
, and I’ve been able to come to practice where I interviewed John Tavares
The perks given to McGowan as a member of the Blog Box have allowed him to develop his blog and his relationship with the Islanders fan base. Although he currently is a part of a large blogging platform, McGowan has given thought to creating his own personal blog space.
“The Blog Box is certainly something that would help that because the Islanders have always given us publicity by posting links to our stories from their web page,” said McGowan. “The way I look at it, the possibilities are endless, and there are plenty of opportunities that lie ahead.”
Outside of blogging, McGowan is in the second year of a graduate program at Queens College, studying to be an elementary school teacher while also receiving certification in special education. He still plays roller hockey, and has officiated youth hockey as well.
Despite his hectic schedule, McGowan can often be found in the press box at Nassau Coliseum, taking in an Islanders game and developing his blog.
“This is something that most people don’t get to do,” said McGowan. “It’s something that I take very seriously and I try to be as professional as possible, but at the same time, it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy.”