I Don’t Know What Happens Next
Earlier today, I received notice from John Ness, VP of Content at SB Nation, that Die by the Blade will no longer be managed or monetized by Vox Media as of February 28. Essentially, this community - along with most other NHL SB Nation sites - will lose its financial support and any backing we’ve received from Vox.
I can’t sugarcoat it: this absolutely sucks, and I don’t have a lot of details for what this means for Die by the Blade.
The bottom line is this: we are already getting paid so little to do this work. Our budget specifically was already slashed earlier this year. I love writing about hockey, and I love covering the Buffalo Sabres, but I’m not going to do this work for free, and I wouldn’t ask any of my other paid writers or editors to do it for free, either.
The email we received said that it “does not necessarily mean the sites will be shutting down,” and that SB Nation is exploring options to allow for continued use of the site name/brand, domain name, etc. They’ve also said that they’ll be “soliciting input... and then sharing more information about how we can help enable you to manage and monetize the sites and brands in the coming days and weeks.”
That said, I have no idea what that really means for the site going forward, or who will or will not choose to be a part of whatever it is, if anything. It also absolutely is the worst time for this to be happening, in the middle of the season. Making these changes effective in the offseason would’ve been one thing, but now, to pull our coverage out from under our feet in the middle of the season, burns that much worse.
Only six NHL sites will continue to be supported by Vox, meaning nearly all of SB Nation’s NHL coverage is dead in the water.
All I know right now is that I’m grateful that we’ve been able to have this platform for so many years, and I’ve loved being a part of Die by the Blade since 2017.
This community that has been built for Sabres fans since the site started in July 2007 is irreplaceable. I’m sad and angry that it’s come to this, and I’ll try to keep you updated on what’s next.