[Corey Masisak is now officially a New Yorker, and our collective loss is NHL.com's gain. Below are his parting words to Caps fans.]
Dear Readers of The Rink (or maybe more appropriately Dear Diary),
I wrote something pretty similar to this a year ago under very different circumstances, so I'm not going to try and thank everyone who has ever helped me in my career (mostly because I'd probably forget people like I am sure I did last year). But I did ask J.P. if he'd let me post a letter on his site to you - Caps fans in general but most especially the loyal readers of this site.
It was a long and often stressful year for me professionally, something I didn't really see coming and I am glad to finally have behind me. That said, I still got to spend what I hope ends up being the most turbulent year of my professional life doing what I love to do - even if it wasn't always in the way I wanted to do it. I consider myself incredibly lucky given the alternative (finding a job in the "real world" which was something I had to think long and hard about on several occasions).
I wanted to write this letter to thank all of you for being incredible throughout each of the four years that I've covered the Caps, but especially for the past year. It would have been completely understandable for fans to see that I wasn't writing as regularly as I had in the past (and when I did it was for so many different publications that it was hard to keep track) and either stop reading or at least not as frequently. The amount of support and feedback, whether it was on twitter, email or in the comments on this site, was amazing and something I'll never forget.
The feedback on this site in particular has made me a better writer/reporter. There is one pretty prominent example of me (and other media members) not providing enough coverage about a certain star players struggles in the playoffs and what might have been contributing to it. I think I learned from that and have tried to be as objective as I can be covering the team the past couple of years, even if it meant writing some things that weren't popular with some members of the organization.
I am sad to be leaving Washington because it has been so much fun to cover this team. There are so many great guys to interact with on a daily basis, and there have been so, so many great fans that I've enjoyed bantering back and forth with. I've taken plenty of digs at the fan base, usually about the behavior of a few or the ones that were missing at Verizon Center, but the core of the fan base (which I think is represented very well among the readers of this site) is really fantastic and boasts a level of knowledge and passion that is second to no one.
The truth is J.P. and his legion of talented people working for him has been the best place to go for Caps news and analysis for a long time now. J.P., Pepper, Becca, Emily, Robb, Malin, Russell and that nice guy I met at the Caps Convention have made this site great and the one I have to visit every day – and that won't change even if my new job responsibilities are a little different.
I'm not entirely sure what my day-to-day duties at nhl.com are going to be yet. I'll probably end up at some Caps games again in the near future though, and it will be hard for my eyes not to drift to the Washington game when we have all the games on at one time in the office. There was a time when I thought I would cover the Caps for a long time and I was happy about that. Given what has happened in the past year, the idea of working elsewhere became something I was more ready to entertain and this was an offer I couldn't pass up.
This is a pretty incredible opportunity for me at nhl.com and it still feels a little surreal. There are so many talented people that work there and it will be exciting to be a part of it. I have made what I hope will be lifelong friendships covering the Caps and I wouldn't trade my years covering the team for the Times for anything.
So please accept my sincerest debt of gratitude for sticking with me the past year, and for all of your general awesomeness the past few years. My time covering the Caps has been everything I would have thought it could be and more when I took over for the great Dave Fay, and all of you have been a big part of that.
P.S. I will always remain confident that David will someday indeed ask me to the dance.