Thursday, February 12, 2009

I miss Todd Milewski already

It hasn't even been a full week, and it's a bye week at that, and I already miss good ol' Todd. If you haven't already heard or figured it out yourself by his lack of recent articles/posts, Todd Milewski is no longer covering Badger Hockey for The Cap Times, as TCT has apparently eliminated the position of hockey beat writer. Here's what Paul Capobianco wrote in his Badger Men's Hockey Insider email:
You probably haven’t heard, but The Capital Times has taken Todd Milewski off the Wisconsin men’s hockey beat. Todd has done a great job covering Wisconsin hockey the past few years for the paper, but they have decided to use his talents in other areas. We wish Todd the best of luck in the future as he continues to cover Badger hockey home games for the Associated Press.
Last weekend, Todd transitioned to his new position as a multimedia producer with TCT. You might have noticed that, although he did have live game blogs, he did not write any game stories or recaps for TCT. Instead, he put together a couple of nice audio slideshows using post-game press conference audio and photographs by Larry Radloff. Good stuff. I hope he continues to be able to do this type of work on a regular basis in his new position.

However, I'm extremely disappointed that TCT has eliminated its regular hockey coverage and that in effect Madison Newspapers has drastically decreased its hockey coverage. Sure, Andy Baggot will continue to cover the Badgers for the WSJ, but I never felt that Todd's and Andy's efforts were redundant in any way.

Sure, they both wrote series previews and game stories, but they usually took a bit different slant on things, and the previews and game stories are just a part of what they wrote each week. Both Todd and Andy would typically have other articles during the week, and those articles usually featured different players or different topics, and those articles certainly weren't duplicative. Also, Todd had frequent blog posts with information that didn't make its way into TCT/WSJ articles. He especially did a nice job tracking Badger recruits and alumni, with weekly stats updates and links to articles.

Todd also had some very nice game blogs, including live interactive blogs for away games. And for both home and away games, his game blogs included some nice things including "3 stars", "Did you notice?", and other things that might not have made it into the game story. Good stuff.

The simple decrease in the quantity Badger Hockey coverage is sad enough for me, but it's even sadder when you consider the quality of Todd's work. Todd's a heck of a good hockey sportswriter -- he knows his hockey and he's a great writer -- and it's really too bad that he won't be using those talents fully anymore. Sure, he'll still be writing for USCHO and for the AP, but he won't be able to do nearly as much hockey coverage as any of us would like. And while I'm sure he'll be very good at his new job, I'll miss him at his old job.

I'm a Sad Badger.