The Jackets returned to the ice last night to kick off the 2011-2012 season, and though they ulitmately fell to the Predators 3-2, there is still an overwhelming amount of optimism for the season. The Jackets themselves made plenty of changes this summer, and here at The Cannon we're making some too.
We've developed a new system to ensure that fresh content is getting out every day. We implemented our new system in September, with great success. We believe that we have a system that ensures original content will always be front and center, along with our take on current events surrounding the Blue Jackets and of course previews, discussion threads and recaps for every game this season.
I started The Cannon in 2007, and I am amazed at the growth of this blog, especially since I joined the SB Nation network in 2009. I'm not a Columbus resident- in fact I'm not even American. I live in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, the same hometown as some guy named Sidney Crosby. It can be difficult at times to keep my finger on the pulse of the team, so I've assembled a team of local talent to keep The Cannon running like a well-oiled machine.
Andy Newman has been with me from the beginning. He brings a unique insight on the team, and is a valuable contributor. He'll be spearheading our mission to improve our reach with social media, our next big behind-the-scenes venture.
Joining the team after the move to SBN was Matt Wagner. For those of you who are regular readers of The Cannon, you'll know of Matt's tireless work ethic. He's always coming up with fresh ideas, and his ability to stay on top of the news is astounding. His Shrapnel posts are required morning reading.
I am a big fan of the AHL. I spend a lot of time tracking the Jackets' farm club- initially it was the Syracuse Crunch, but last year with the move to Springfield the Falcons have been my prime focus. Lou Bordeaux, founder of the Springfield Hockey Heritage Society was brought aboard to provide regular updates and analysis of the Falcons. His connection to the team and his spot-on breakdowns of all things AHL are a valuable component here at The Cannon.
Our most recent addition is Dan P. Dan's a pro, he came on board with fresh, new ideas (such as The Cannon podcast) and with The Cannon receiving media accreditation for the first time this season, he provides excellent interviews with players and personnel and his game analysis is fantastic.
Long term, my vision for The Cannon is to be the go-to spot on the web for discussion, analysis and information regarding the Blue Jackets. With the team I've assembled, the content is in-place. The next step is to grow the community. We have a fantastic group in place now, with many readers who regularly contribute to game threads, comment on our posts, and provide fanposts and fanshots. That said, we need to get bigger!
For those of you who are new to the site, or perhaps are regular readers but have yet to partipate, please feel free to sign up (it only takes a few seconds) and start with commenting on the posts, or jump into the fray during a game. If you have a topic you want to discuss, publish a fanpost. Cool picture, video or interesting link you want to share? Fan shot is your outlet. One thing though- remember to keep it clean and on-topic.
I'd love to hear some ideas on what we can do to make The Cannon the online community for Jacket fans. In terms of content, is there anything you'd like to see from us that we don't offer now? Are there any changes that we should take into consideration? Remember- we're here for you, the reader. We want to ensure that The Cannon is your one-stop shop for all things Blue Jackets.
I'm looking forward to your feedback! Here's to a great season, and a return to the playoffs!
- Mike, Manager of The Cannon