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Time to say goodbye

It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this community over the past eight years, but today I’m stepping down as managing editor.

Philadelphia Flyers v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Depending on how long you’ve been a reader of this blog, you may or may not know that when I’m not banging out angry game recaps about the Buffalo Sabres most recent loss, I moonlight (daylight?) as a music teacher here in Western New York. Coincidentally, I’m also a huge musical theater dork.

So today we’re going to talk about Hamilton.

Yes, the mega-hit of Broadway actually has something to do with blogging, at least today, and whether you love it, are sick of it, or have only heard of it from that one weird friend at work, I appreciate your indulgence for a few paragraphs.

One of the most fascinating themes of the show, which follows the life and struggles of our first Treasury Secretary and founding father Alexander Hamilton, is that of time, and what you choose to do with the time you’re given.

Hamilton’s life was ultimately cut short (Spoiler alert: he dies) but the theme of time runs throughout the show, from the opening song that chronicles the first 17 years of his life in just under four minutes, to the fact that Hamilton is such a prolific writer that he writes as if he’s “running out of time,” to the fact that, despite Hamilton’s many gifts, the ability to take a break, relax, and enjoy life, love, and family was not one of them.

Now, I’m not for a moment claiming to be any sort of prolific writer. Anyone who’s read this site for more than a few weeks knows that. Hell, I once misspelled Rick Jeanneret’s name so badly that a Sabres representative reached out to correct me (thanks, Chris.)

No, the idea of time that resonates with me is that we all have a limited, unknowable amount of time to tell our own stories, and that what we do with that time is how we’ll be thought of and celebrated by those that remember us. And while this site has certainly been a big part of my story, it’s time for that story to take a new direction.

That is why I’m stepping down as managing editor of Die By The Blade.

When I joined this site as a reader back in September of 2009, I was working as a substitute teacher, and as a 23-year old kid who had just moved to Pittsburgh I had plenty of free time on my hands. Thus, when Dave Oleksy reached out to the community looking for someone to collect the Daily Links, I figured it would be a good way to keep myself busy.

I wrote my first links post the next day, on November 17, my first recap three days later, and had my grammar corrected in the comments for the first time the following week, a tradition witch still continue’s too this day.

Over the next eight years, I had incredible opportunities thrust into my lap, met some fantastic people, and got to experience things I’ll never forget. Covering the 2016 NHL Draft. Shaking Ryan Miller’s hand on the night he was traded. Waiting in line for the press box bathroom between Tim Murray and Rick Jeanneret.

But I also learned that, as fun as it is, this job is hard. I have immense respect for the folks that cover a sports team full-time, or for any bloggers who are essentially working two jobs to keep their sites running day-to-day. I always told myself that I’d step away if writing for this site ever started to feel like work, and this past season, it certainly has.

Hamilton might not need to take a break, but I do.

I’ve got some thank yous to offer before I go, starting with the folks at SBNation. While they’ve come under some fire lately, they also place a great amount of faith in their writers to produce quality, unique content, and I’m grateful for the trust they placed in me and the autonomy they gave us to make this site whatever we wanted it to be.

To the Buffalo Sabres organization, thanks to Ian Ott, Chris Bandura, Michael Gilbert, and Chris Ryndak, who have always been helpful and supportive through many dumb errors and late press pass requests on my part. Thanks to Ryan Nagelhout, who helped me figure out what the hell I was doing on my first day in the press box. And thanks to whoever made the decision to let bloggers sit in the press box in the first place, and thanks to those in the media who didn’t treat us like we were infected with greyscale.

Thank you to Dave Oleksy for hiring me back in 2009, and to Zach Zielonka for trusting me to run the site in 2013. And a huge thank you to anyone who’s ever written for this site, especially Jack Goods and Calvin, who have helped me keep my sanity these past few years. It’s been a privilege to work with all of you.

Most of all, thank you to all the readers who have made DBTB a small part of your life. Trust me, there’s no way I would have had as much passion for this job as I did without all of you who read, wrote, shared, and rec’d. Every comment, every FanPost, every dumb PhotoShop in a game thread helps to make doing this job worthwhile. You guys are the best.

Old school readers may remember users like Afino, Calvert, Traver, Monotonousblob, and krytime, who appear often on those early posts from 2009, but a special shout out to willgarr15, lassathrax, bflo, jsz, twoeightnine, J2, and FloridaBuffalo for being a part of this site for just as long (or longer) as I have.

Taking over for me as site manager will be Chad DeDominicis, who has most recently been running the Sabres site at The Hockey Writers and who will be introducing himself shortly. I’m very excited to have Chad on board, and to have someone ready to run this site next season with the passion that it deserves. I can’t wait to see DBTB continue to grow in the coming months!

As for me, I’ll still be around, hanging out in game threads, scouring the internet for stupid GIFs, and even writing the occasional article or two. But I’m very excited to be able to watch next season and experience it just like all of you - as a fan.

After eight years of typing rather than clapping, I’ve got a lot of cheering to catch up on.

Let’s go, Buffalo.