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Let me preface this by stating that I will feebly attempt to keep it from heading in a number of directions.

A conversation The Driver and I regularly have revolves around how 90% of sports media is incapable of holding our attention for extended periods. There are a lot of variables out there, and a great number of them get on our nerves (mine moreso than his): Poor structure, incessant rambling, "broadcaster behaviour" (i.e., delivering highlights in that snarky tone that's perceived to be hipper-than-thou), mind-numbing interviews, pathetic attempts at humour, Valley-laden hokeyness...trust me, I could go on for days. For the record, I know I'm not an aberration, because the readers perpetually register their feelings to me about this subject via email.

But honestly, here's my biggest issue: One of the largest problems with the NHL-covering media involves a blatant lack of balance. I find it falls into three main categories: 1) Media who know what they're talking about, but haven't quite grasped the lighter, hipper side of things; 2) Media who want be fresh and young, but allow substance to fall by the wayside and 3) Media who have no idea what they're talking about and completely lack any sense of comedic timing or flair.

I know what you're going to say -- "There's plenty of that sort of thing on the Internet." Oh really? There are very few and far between that can accomplish it. Some of the most revered NHL blogs that I'm aware of are also the driest. If you know of a site that you deem to be worthy, send me the link, and keep in mind I'm seeking out things that could give traditional media a run for their money.

In respect to television, I can understand what Sportsnet was thinking when they went for the massive makeover. The idea itself was good, but the execution was extremely poor. Now their highlight show has been reduced to fast-paced bits of fluff, and appears to be manned by eTalk's extra talent. The Inbox? What the hell is that all about? Thanks Sportsnet, but I'm well aware of how to operate YouTube.

(Aside: My favourite Inbox moment thus far: A woman by the name of Kylie Evans -- I'm not sure if she's secured Daru Dhillon's old job yet because she's not listed on the Sportsnet site -- did a bit last week on the most hated teams in sports. Some of the selections included the Leafs, the Yankees and "The University of Duke". Feel free to add that to the "Women are idiots and don't belong in sports media" ammo pile. Damn, that thing's getting huge.)

Personally, I think hockey-covering media is in a bit of a bind. On one hand, you have your hardcore stats guys, prickly historians and no-nonsense old-schoolers. They want the facts: Black and white. They want to know how many goals Marian Gaborik has scored on any Tuesday in January when there was at least 8.4 inches of snow outside of Xcel Energy Center. They want to talk about the 1972 Summit Series, and how the CBC had to audacity to whittle it down to only four hours for their miniseries. Anything outside of the game itself is irrelevant. That's for casual fans that don't really know or care about hockey.

(By the way, that's not an off-the-cuff insult. I've seen statements similar to that written on many a message board.)

On the other hand, you have a group of people that are interested in other dynamics of the game. They want to hear about the off-ice tales or interests, and about the inner workings of the team. But that isn't enough -- you have to take this information, and have it delivered by members of the media that have the ability to place a fresh spin on it. It can't be contrived, and it can't be forced. It's always been my opinion that this attribute can't be taught. You either have it or you don't. Frankly, there are a lot of people out there right now that are trying, and credit to them for their efforts...but they don't have it. Sites like Deadspin and Free Darko have this element down solid. But not everyone can accomplish this with such ease.

This second group of people (for the majority) have no issue with the "meat" of the game -- they want the league's news, highlights and stats just as much as anyone else -- but they'd also enjoy a little side dish of wit and fun...and what's really wrong with that?

Nothing...except that as of right now, there's truly not one place to obtain both elements presented in high quality. And I know that I can't be the only person that's desperate to find a little bit of balanced sports media, in the midst of dry deliveries and flat, predictable humour.