An online media source for daily coverage of the American Hockey League (AHL)
I'm very pleased to announce the official unveiling of Inside AHL Hockey - an independent media source that aims to provide detailed, in-depth coverage of the American Hockey League (AHL) with original content that takes hockey fans off the beaten path of the regular game previews, recaps, fluff and box score reports mass produced by today's traditional mainstream media.
Full details entailing our coverage plan and planned site content, information about subscribing to the site and how subscriptions will work will be explained below.
Inside AHL Hockey - The Backstory
Recognized by the AHL as a credentialed member of the media since the 2012-13 season, I have always sought out a way to be able to showcase synergy in the AHL in terms of media coverage.
There are several great beat writers covering one of the leaugue's 30 AHL teams. As many of you may know already, I, have had daily coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms since day one of the franchise's existence in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania over at my own personal hockey blog Highland Park Hockey.
Being able to access consistent, first-hand reporting from around the top minor league to the National Hockey League (AHL) continues to be a struggle outside of these individuals nailing down singular team beats.
The plan is to create a community of dedicated writers to create a one-stop shop for everything AHL - team coverage, player features, scouting/prospect reports and much, much more!
I truly believe that this new venture will help bridge that gap and become a place where fans around the AHL will be able to get the updates they need while also serving as a source of information for National Hockey League (NHL) fans curious about the development of their favorite teams' top prospects competing at the pro level in North America.
Navigating the Site
Inside AHL Hockey was created with the idea that it would be simple to navigate and provide ease of access to all of the media outlet's content. Taking a look around the entire site in encouraged.
When you arrive at www.insideahlhockey.com, you're greeted with the home page of the site - a sharp, clean look with a wealth of options, features, gadgets and things to click on when viewing the PC Version.
If viewing Inside AHL Hockey via your mobile device, a simple and straightforward version of the site allows you easy access to all of the content in the palm of your hands.
Top of the Page - The Tab Bar
For PC users, the tab bar stretches across the top of the page and really sections the site into a few different categories where you'll find more specific information.For moble users, the top right button on your screen will allow you to see our drop-down menu of the same tabs you'd see on the PC.
PHANTOMS - a link to our Phantoms HUB, where you can get all the latest on the Philadelphia Flyers top prospects competing in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. It's the same great coverage you followed the previous three years of the AHL franchise's existence in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania at my old blog Highland Park Hockey. Despite adding more non-Phantoms content to this venture of AHL coverage, Phantoms and Flyers fans can count on even more dedicated coverage in 2017-18 and beyond with more prospect reports, insights, analysis and other off the beaten path content.
AHL - a link to our AHL-wide coverage with stories about the 29 other teams in the league. This section currently houses all of our free agency coverage from July including our AHL Free Agent Tracker and AHL Team Lists transferred over from Highland Park Hockey. The formatting may be a little off currently, but will be touched up and updated this week.
SUBSCRIBE - this stand alone page will have all the details about how subcriptions to Inside AHL Hockey will work and will be announced when all the details are finalized sometime in August. The month of August is a completely 100% free trial to all readers and users of the site. The subscriptions (with more details below) are scheduled to begin on September 1st.
OUR TEAM - a link to all the announcements of additions to the Inisde AHL Hockey staff. Currently a blank page, I'll be posting my own welcome this week in addition to our first roster moves of the summer in the coming days and weeks. We already have several strong writers and photographers in the fold and aim to continue to build a talented team dedicated to covering prospect hockey and the American Hockey League.
FOLLOW US - A dropdown menu of how to keep up with the latest happenings of Inside AHL Hockey, it's plans and coverage across all social media platforms which will continue to expand this summer heading into the season. Our Twitter and Facebook feeds are also on display in both the Phantoms and AHL tabs on the left hand column of the page for easy to view breaking news while you're navigating the site.
The Preliminary Coverage Plan
There will be several additions to Inside AHL Hockey's coverage team announced throughout the next few weeks. I'd like to give each of the contributors to the site their own voice here at Inside AHL Hockey - they've all written a letter to the readers to help explain what to expect this season - which is why I will hold off on announcing our first addition to the team.
Look for that first 'roster move' in less than 48 hours though, as we are a full month into hockey's free agency period on the ice. There's no time to waste. Setting a high standard from day one is paramount to building this media outlet from the ground up.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms Coverage
The focus at Highland Park Hockey, my former hockey blog, was daily coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and prospects in the Philadelphia Flyers organization. Our second-to-none Phantoms coverage will continue this season, and we will really take that aspect to whole new heights in 2017-18.
The same dedication to hitting the road and pulling out all the stops to provide live coverage of ALL Phantoms games will continue, and we will have added help on the Phantoms' beat again this season. More details on that in the coming days.
Expanded AHL Eastern Conference Coverage
While daily coverage of the Phantoms will have a defined focus early on as the site continues to build, each game the Phantoms play presents an opportunity to get the stories from another angle.
Common opponents of the Phantoms in the Eastern Conference and specifically the Atlantic Division - Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Charlotte Checkers, Hartford WolfPack, Hershey Bears, Providence Bruins, Springfield Thunderbirds and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins - will have an expanded focus with more original reporting to help broaden the horizons and provide a more 50/50 coverage plan with daily Phantoms content supplemented with an equal amount of AHL-related content from around the Eastern Conference.
Coverage of the AHL's Western Conference?
Being based in the Eastern Conference might be a concern for fans of the AHL and NHL teams out west, but not to worry. Inside AHL Hockey will have at least one (if not more) credentialed reporters providing content focused on the league's Western Conference teams and players this summer and beyond.
It's something we're especially excited about, and something that will further express Inside AHL Hockey's versatility in having access to a wide array of hockey teams, prospects and more!
Free Content Versus Premium Content - Understanding The Subscription Process
While the month of August will showcase all of our stories for free at no cost to the reader, this is a subscription-based website that will be operating under a partial pay-wall beginning in September.
The cost of a subscription will be miniscule - just $3 in September for full access to 100% of the content produced next month. A yearly subscription to the site will be $36.We will be using Patreon as a means for readers to pledge monthly. Again, it's $3/month for full access but Patreon allows you to support the cause for more if you deem our work worth more.
Information on how to subscribe will be available later this month, and we will have a walkthrough of the process with step-by-step instructions on how to get you on board with our service.
Initial additional support and social media outreach is important and will be key to continuing to build this new venture from the ground up. As always, the loyalty of the readers has never let me down. Your help over the past six years has gotten us to this point, and I wouldn't be able to launch this site and take the next step without the overwhelming committment and support from you.
Any questions/concerns/comments can be voiced either by email to [email protected] or by contacting us on any of our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We encourage everyone to follow us across the board to keep up to date with everything going on here as we transition to this new website as well as all the latest AHL news and more when the season gets underway this fall.