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Gajtka: Thanks For The Fun And Games, PHN Followers



I can’t say that I dreamed of being a hockey reporter when I was growing up, but it did have its moments. Boy, did it ever, with scenes ranging from the corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington Place all the way to Nashville, Tennessee.

I’m using past tense here because I am stepping down as co-owner at Pittsburgh Hockey Now, effective immediately. I’ve decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere in the media field, so it’s not a total career change, but I have been presented with an opportunity to affect some positive change in a different area and I have decided to go after it.

Yes, I could’ve hung on here at PHN in a part-time capacity, chiming in every now and again on the commentary side of things, but it wouldn’t be fair to Dan Kingerski, Joe Steigerwald and Shelly Anderson to have one foot in and one foot out.

This decision comes after much deliberation. I was excited about (and fully engaged with) PHN right from the moment I joined Dan several months ago. Despite my departure, I’m bullish on what this group can continue to do in changing the conversation surrounding the Penguins and the NHL.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably enjoyed what we’ve put out there in a very competitive media environment. I know I’ve been proud of it.

However, as I got deeper into the independent media realm — where I’ve made most of my income over the past three years — I’ve realized that my sports passions lie elsewhere. Considering the commitment of time and energy needed to elevate a start-up, I no longer feel equipped to remain a part of the leadership here at PHN.

Don’t get me wrong: I still love hockey. My dream job remains to call NHL games for a living, whether on TV or radio, so I’ll continue to pursue that goal via freelance opportunities.

As far as my current career goes, though, I’ve decided to make some adjustments. Reporting/analysis isn’t completely out of the picture, but it’ll be taking a back seat now. It’s been a pleasure to bring it to you and I’ve learned much about that side of the sports media business in the process.

Before I send you on your merry way, let me take the chance to thank you for your support of my work, whether it’s been here or at other outlets. Hockey is the best and hockey’s fans are the most passionate I’ve come across. Maybe it’s the emotional nature of the sport that makes us this way, but I’ve consistently been in awe of your enthusiasm for hockey — and especially for the Penguins.

With that, it’s time to go. I’ll still be following PHN’s progress closely and I’ll be fully locked in on the next NHL season, like I have every year for two decades. The only difference is that I’m about to join you on the outside of this lovely little journalism process.

Stick taps to all! See you around the various rinks and arenas of Western Pennsylvania.

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A lifelong hockey addict, Matt has been fortunate enough to make his career in his sport of choice, working in high school, juniors, college and the pros in various multimedia roles. Previous to joining PHN, Matt was a credentialed Penguins/NHL beat reporter from 2016-18, including coverage of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. He contributes commentary and analysis here in various forms.

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