Greetings and welcome to the Raw Charge. The Raw Charge is the newest SB Nation entry in its NHL coverage and is devoted to the Tampa Bay Lightning as well as general opinions and news pieces regarding the National Hockey League and occasionally postings about Tampa Bay sports in general.
My name’s John Fontana and many of you already know who I am and know of my reputation (for good or for ill) as I have been blogging the Lightning and sports in general on Boltsmag for the past five years, and before that I was involved on several different message boards and networks, discussing the Bolts with fellow fans. I’ve also been involved in the Tampa Bay blogosphere in various facets – from writing to designing and blog management - for the past several years as well. Call me a web personality (though that’s a generous phrasing. "Web Nerd" will suffice :-) ).
From the highs (the 2004 Stanley Cup championship) to the lows (the current 2008-09 season in general), and the doldrums in between (the 2004-05 NHL lockout), I’ve been involved in the NHL blogosphere for quite a while and I'm proud to get the chance to be involved with SB Nation and what they're doing on the web.
The site name, "The Raw Charge" (or simply Raw Charge) tries to highlight the fact that this is not going to be a professional journalism web site with the highest of qualities (how many weblogs are for that matter?). It will be Raw. The "Charge" part of the name is self explanatory. The Raw Charge seems almost as a fitting title right now to the down-on-their-luck Bolts. While there is quality and finesse, there is also the gritty and untapped talent on the roster that has not be honed and refined. It defines ownership’s passion that seldom gets in the way of sound decision making as well.
This blog is not a one-man act and it would be criminal for me to act as if it was. Besides community involvement (post your own blog entries and maybe it will be promoted to the front page, or make a quick-hit fanshot about news, quotes, etc) I’ll be sharing posting duties with Cassie McClellan of Boltsblog fame. Cassie is a well versed hockey blogger, having contributed to several blogs (Illegal Curve, the Pensblog, and Cycle Like the Sedins). She used to write a blog for Hockey Prime Time up until very recently and was also involved with NHL Connect and is participating in a hockey blog book with other writers who participate on NHL Connect. The book's proceeds are going to go to the Hockey Fights Cancer charity (we’ll have more on this in the future, hopefully).
So this is the start… It’s sort of fitting it comes at the end of a season that this fan would sooner forget…