Late Saturday night, we Hurricanes fans got a huge shock. Our beat writer with the Raleigh News & Observer is moving along. Luke Decock, who has brilliantly covered the Hurricanes since 2000 has been "promoted" from being a Canes beat writer to a general Sports columnist.
This is a shame. Luke is a very good hockey writer who is not only worshiped around here, but respected around the rest of the league. He will continue to contribute, but will no longer be able to devote 100% of his attention to the Hurricanes.
In his place, the N&O has slotted former NC State Wolfpack beat writer Chip Alexander, who admits that he doesn't know a thing about hockey. This is a huge, huge mistake. There are other writers on the staff (I'm specifically looking at Lorenzo Perez) who are far more capable.
Alexander made an inauspicious debut by bragging about his college basketball knowledge and bashing Luke for his lack of same. His transition was going to be hard enough, but he made it about 1200% harder with this pathetic introductory post. He hasn't exactly endeared himself to the masses. I hope it gets better before it gets worse. Alexander has had a history of being an infrequent contributor to the Hurricanes coverage in the N&O, and to hear the Acid Queen tell it, he didn't do a very good job.
If I were a Raleighite and/or a subscriber to the print edition of the N&O, I would angrily cancel my subscription to the paper. As is, I will have to be a little upset about this changing of the guard.
Alexander has already taken a wrong step with his unintentional slight of his brilliant predecessor. I might be overreacting or making an incorrect reading, but it also seems like he's taking a slightly confrontational approach to hockey
There's a reason that Luke Decock is a frequent contributor to The Hockey News. There's a reason that he's well respected around the League. He's a great hockey writer. Heck, he's a great writer, period. I'm sad to see him take leave of his post. I'm skeptical about the N&O's choice to fill that void. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I'm going into this with low expectations.
As an aside, Luke wrote a great piece today about one Canes season ticket holder who took the Cole/Pitkanen trade very hard. It isn't that it's a great hockey article. It's good writing. Although he won't be out of the fold completely, we're going to miss Luke's every day articles. Partly for his in-depth knowledge of the game and the players who play it. Mostly, though, because he's a terrific writer.
3 years ago