Michael Black runs Coast to Coast which is an independent blog that is solely dedicated to the United Kingdom’s National Ice Hockey League. The NIHL is seen as a third tier stepping stone to the EPIHL and EIHL. It’s also features stars from years past on the tail end of their careers. Here’s an interesting look at the state of hockey in the NIHL and a look at the Blackburn Hawks.
March Hockey: Where are you located and how did you get into hockey?
Michael Black: I’m based in Blackburn – around 30 miles north of Manchester. I’d always been a fan of the NHL and when Blackburn Arena opened in 1991 I started watching the Hawks. There was a steady stream of quality imports back then – Fred Perlini, Oleg Sinkov, Steve Chartrand to name a few. It was impossible not to get hooked.
MH: What makes you cover a league like the NIHL instead of the pro leagues?
MB: I initially started Coast to Coast as a blog covering just the Hawks. Interest in the site from around NIHL quickly grew, so I took the decision to expand the coverage across the whole league. During the season the site also includes content from the Elite League and EPL, but the main focus is NIHL North with some NIHL South too. In just over two years the site has grown from nothing to around 10,000 hits per month. While there were plenty of people covering the bigger leagues, coverage of NIHL wasn’t great. I’d like to think Coast to Coast has gone some way to filling that gap in the market and help increase exposure of the sport at a lower level. Continue reading “Fan Voice with Coast to Coast: The U.K.’s #1 blog for NIHL action”