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2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards Finalists


Date Aired or Published 04 April 2013
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Coast
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

By the time it was over, the Halifax Mooseheads seemingly effortless romp through Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season, playoffs and Memorial Cup Canadian championship last year had taken on a kind of inevitability. It was anything but, of course, as any fan who’d followed the team’s fun, fascinating, frustrating up-and-down-and-down-and-up, 20-year ride could have told you. But how did the Mooseheads really go from worst to first in the country in just three years? I wanted to tell that story as last season’s playoffs began, while there were still questions about how it would ultimately turn out, and more than reasonable doubts based on earlier seasons in which they were also supposed to go all the way. While I wanted to tell that behind-the-scenes hockey story, I was also conscious that The Coast’s audience was not made up entirely of die-hard hockey fans. There was — as there always is — a compelling human story at the heart of this sports/hockey tale. In this case, it was the story of a family trying to figure out what’s best for their son. In “Making the Mooseheads,” I attempted to inter-weave the MacKinnons’ story with the team’s and allow readers a glimpse into the making of a championship season in the world of Canadian major junior hockey.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

Stephen Kimber has been following the Mooseheads ups-downs-ups-downs-ups for two decades as both a fan but also as a journalist. During the season the Mooseheads hosted the Memorial Cup, he spent three months following the team while developing a book project, which, for a variety of reasons, didn't happen. In 2008 during the team's last dashed-hopes season, he wrote a feature for The Coast about three young players from the suburban Halifax community of Hammonds Plains who'd grown up together, been drafted together and we're at that time hoping to bring the Memorial Cup home to Hammonds Plains. That didn't work out as hoped... This past season did, and Kimber, having spent those years following the team, was ideally positioned to show how the team was built and why it succeeded.

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