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The past week has been the hardest one in my short writing career, which is ironic for two reasons: 1) Nothing happened to me and 2) I didn't write anything.

It was the events and the indirect actions of others that left me confused, angry and altogether unsure of my place and ultimate future in this business. Even now, I can't discuss the situation completely because of the repercussions it may cause, but I'll do my best.

It all started with the sudden and shocking news of Daron Richardson's death. The 14-year-old daughter of Luke Richardson died last weekend, and the news of her passing shook the hockey world to its core. The revelation that it was a suicide was hard enough to swallow so soon -- however, it was the details from the Senators' initial press release that truly caught everyone off guard.

I was taken aback by it, as were others in the business (Twitter truly is a glorious tool, as it allowed me to communicate quickly with reporters in the press box and those on the air at the time). The biggest questions: "Why was there so much detail in the release? Why did we need to know the cause of death and the breakdown of how/where/when/by whom she was found?" It was only something to ponder, until I checked in with my source, who is part of Luke Richardson's inner circle, and was aware of Daron's death before it had been made public. I told him of the details in the press release. "How do you know all that?" I told him it was all in the statement. "That wasn't supposed to get out," he said. Several hours later, the Senators had pulled the original statement from their website (the link above is the Google cache version as it appeared in the release). It was then that I knew that someone had (allegedly) made a very large mistake.

In the days that followed, my source helped me trace back through the fallout - and information released - from the death. Suddenly, I became privy to far more about this investigation that I ever expected.

But what could I do about it? Nothing.

These are the dilemmas that we should discussing in online media. Bloggers v. print in the press box? I don't give a damn about that. Why doesn't someone talk about the foibles of trying to get sources in the police department, or whether you can use a source's scoop if they gave it to you while intoxicated? When is the right time to approach a grieving family about the details of their child's death, and how do you know if you even have to gumption to do something like that without seeming like a monster? How does one question the rationale of a professional sports franchises' decision to release such graphic information, and do so without the protection of an employer, in case they want to ban you from the press box? In the same vein, how do you call them on their (expletive) for pulling the release - a clear-cut sign that they know they were in the wrong? Am I doing it now? Is this enough?

Don't talk any more crap to me about press box dilemmas. Don't tell me that I owe guys like Chris Botta a great deal, even if he did get the short end of the stick. He didn't teach me how to handle a situation like this. And as the lines between traditional media and blogging become more blurred by the day, these problems will become our new-school reality. But the question remains - how do we deal with them? Something tells me the old-school guys aren't keen to reveal what they may have learned in J-school, although I'm not sure what happened to me this week would've been covered in any class.

More later.

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