Editor’s Note: ESPN’s coverage of the best-of-three World Cup of Hockey Final begins tonight as Team Canada meets Team Europe on ESPN and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. ET from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
ESPN.com NHL editor Paul Grant has led the site’s efforts throughout the World Cup of Hockey 2016 in Toronto. The location worked well for Grant as he was born Toronto, grew up in the suburb of Bramalea and attended Ryerson University in Toronto.
Grant has worked at ESPN for 10 years. For the last five years, he’s been directly focused on ESPN.com’s NHL editorial content. He tells Front Row about his tasks covering the tournament and more.
What does it mean to be covering this tournament in your hometown?
It’s great to have professional hockey back on our air and the attention that comes along with that. Working in my hometown has been a great experience – the hotel we’re staying in is one block from where I went to university and where I spent a significant portion of my youth as a young journalist aspiring to work for a place such as ESPN. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time reconnecting with friends and family in between games, which has been nice. I feel pretty fortunate doing what I love doing in a city and country I love.
Describe the team and what goes into covering the World Cup of Hockey on ESPN.com.
I’m completely biased, but I think our digital team is the best in the business. With [reporters] Pierre LeBrun, Scott Burnside, Craig Custance, Joe McDonald and Chris Jones, who joined us for the World Cup, we’ve got all the angles covered. We were at the camps of the major teams from day one, which I think really sets us apart from the pack and will pay off repeatedly during the NHL season.
Describe what an average day looks like for you at the World Cup of Hockey.
An average day has me up at 8 a.m., working on planning and finishing off stories and circling back with the writers on plans for that day. At around noon, I hand off the publishing reins to ESPN.com senior editor Aimee Crawford and Kevin Stone so I ccan make my way to the rink.
Once at the rink, I coordinate with the writers, get an update on news, sit in news conferences by players and coaches, take photos and post material for Now on ESPN.com, work on more story ideas for the day’s games, then attend the games, and edit and post material accordingly off those.
After the game, while the writers were conducting interviews with the players, I often work up stories and push everything out for posting while Aimee and Kevin did the same. Then, I work on the planning budget for the next day. After I post the last piece of content, usually around midnight, I walk back to the hotel, trying my best not to buy any buttertarts (a Canadian delicacy). Then I prepare to do it all again.