Kaiser matias grew up in British Columbia and had "no choice but to follow the Vancouver Canucks." Resolute, whose grandfather played in the International Hockey League in the 1950s, was born and raised in Calgary and has "suffered with the Flames all my life." Ravenswing is from Boston and has been a season ticket holder for the Big, Bad Bruins, Springfield Indians/Falcons, and his alma materNortheastern University Huskies. He has played, coached, and refereed hockey as well as worked as a print reporter, SIHR member, and broadcaster. Alaney2k was born in Toronto and is a fan of the Ottawa Senators, although he has sympathy for the home-town Leafs. He joined the project to improve coverage of the sport's history. Leech44 had an inordinate amount of free time when he began a new job and started reading articles to fill time. He began working on team rosters after noticing a difference in the quality of rosters for Canadian and US teams. He is a Vancouver Canucks supporter, despite being born and raised in Illinois. He explains, "it's a combination of Pavel Bure's highlight-friendly play, the fact that ESPN actually shows hockey, and Bill Wirtz's "brilliant" television policies regarding the Blackhawks. Oh, and trust me I've eaten a substantial amount of crow over the past few years." GoodDay has been a fan of the sport for more than 20 years and follows the Montreal Canadiens, "the oldest and most successful NHL franchise." Schmloof grew up in Vancouver and was "pretty much forced to support the Canucks, although I'm a fan of several other teams, such as the Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings." He joined the project while living in Singapore, "which has a grand total of two (three?) ice rinks with terrible ice, and Wikipedia was my source to keep up with hockey stuff and player info." Grsz11 prefers to remain a mystery, but tends to focus on improving articles about each season.
The project is home to 33 featured articles, 91 featured lists, and 83 good articles. Have you contributed toward any of these articles? Are you involved in one of the ongoing good article nominations?
Kaiser matias: I have contributed to seven featured articles and four good articles, all biography articles. My first FA was Joe Sakic in 2007, and my most recent was Art Ross in October. I currently have one good article nomination, Michael Grabner, the sixth Canuck first round draft pick I've worked on towards either FA or GA. I'm also working on a project to get the original twelve members of the Hockey Hall of Fame all to FA or GA status; currently sitting at four FA's and three GA's.
Resolute: Nine FAs and 20 GAs related to hockey to my credit. My interests vary, as I've covered historical teams and players right up to contemporaries, seasons and tournaments.
Ravenswing: A bunch of them, enough to buff up on my Triple Crown credentials. Beyond that, I don't count coup.
alaney2k: I've worked on a couple of FAs and several GAs. I've been focused on creating articles on early hockey, season articles, etc. I do find the process to get to FA slow and extremely details-oriented. I'm happy to get articles to GA and improve the quantity of good articles. I'm working on getting the Bobby Orr article to GA right now. I want to help to get all Hall of Fame players articles to a good grade.
Mo Rock...Monstrous: I have contributed one FL, recently contributed two GA and I have one more article at GAN that I hope will be promoted soon. However, my writing still needs work to get to any where near the level of some of the other writers we have around here.
Schmloof: Nope, I'm more of a gnome, fixing links to disambiguation pages, spelling and grammar, etc.. I would like to get something promoted in good time, probably NHL 11 (which I haven't touched in a while, and I've noticed that it's been overrun with MOS errors), but a combination of laziness and school prevents me from doing as much as I want to.
Kaiser matias: While I don't focus on current articles that much, I find that it isn't so difficult. We have a policy of not updating player stats until the end of the season to keep some order, and unregistered users are quick to update player and team articles when they are needed. For the most part we established users just need to keep things clean and up to standard, and remove the vandalism that can occur. however major events in the hockey calendar, including the trade deadline in March, the NHL Entry Draft in June, and the start of free agency on July 1 require a lot of attention as things can happen fast and often without reliable sources.
Ravenswing: Pretty much what Kaiser said. What a bunch of the veteran editors do is watch every NHL article (come to that, I watch many of the minor league articles as well) to chop down on vandalism, but this really is the part of the project where the anon IPs carry much of the freight. The only real problem, I feel, is keeping the articles from being clogged with current affairs to the detriment of decades of history.
alaney2k: I work on this. I've tried to make the standings and schedules templates easier to update and more straight-forward. The anon editors are good at keeping this up to date. I do find that this really varies by team. Teams in the US south don't get the editor coverage. I really think that this is indicative of interest in ice hockey in the region!
Mo Rock...Monstrous: Anon users are very help full at updating stats, results and news stories. However, it becomes problematic when they fail to cite sources and the use of prose is almost non-existent with a lot of one line statements like this from the Doug Weight article "On August 31, 2010, Weight was given another one year deal with the New York Islanders." These statements tend to pile-up making articles much more list like. The team season articles have an article drive but with the acceptation of a few dedicated editors very little is added to them in terms of well constructed prose.
GoodDay: The anon editors tend to have things updated, by the time I come online. Unfortunately, that includes the All-time statistics page, which we prefer not to be updated until the conclusion of the current NHL season.
Schmloof: I don't mind at all if they're not up to date; I think it helps prevent recentism if they're actually done at the end of the season. Thus, I don't keep things up to date at all. That being said, it's really something like magic when I go to a page after an event and I see that anons have already kept it updated. I remember being really surprised when I started a table somewhere, left for a couple of hours, and came back to see the table complete and accurate. Amazing stuff.
Do you see any national differences in coverage of hockey on Wikipedia? If so, has there been any effort to bridge the gap?
Kaiser matias: We have only had one issue, and a large one at that. The use of diacritics took the better part of three years for our project to come to a very uneasy consensus on. Things got heated at times between users, but that has been settled for a while now. Aside from that we all operate under the same viewpoints on nearly everything, so there is really no issues.
Resolute: Russian vs. Canadian and Canadian vs. American nationalism has crept up at times, but for the most part we've remained harmonious as a project.
Schmloof: I've noticed the European leagues don't get as much effort put into them as they should, likely as most of the best players are all playing in the NHL. I don't think there really has been a proactive effort to improve those articles. Since it's difficult enough to keep the NHL up to date, it may be asking a bit much for the other leagues, too. Hopefully natives of the respective countries will improve them, as we get zero news of European leagues here in North America.
The project has many unfulfilled image requests, some dating back to 2007. How difficult is it to acquire appropriately-licensed images of players, arenas, and trophies? What are some easy ways ordinary Wikipedians can contribute images to the project's articles?
Kaiser matias: Acquiring photos for the project has probably been the most difficult task we have. It can be a hassle for users to acquire useable photos while attending a match, especially if they are looking for a specific player. As a result we have relied on Flickr for a large amount of photos, benefiting from people who are generous enough to change their copyright license. Really the best way for anyone to help with images is to simply upload them to Commons and go from there.
Resolute: I'm probably our biggest single image contributor at this point, with over 200 images of current players uploaded. Being a season ticket holder in Calgary, I've been able to leverage my access to many passable photographs. If we had a few more editors in similar situations - especially out east - we could probably keep active players well covered. Historical players are tough to get free images for though.
Ravenswing: It's not only extremely difficult, we've had a lot of trouble in recent years from image-warriors who keep changing the goalposts as to what's permissible and what permissions are required.
alaney2k: I've written to various professional offices and I don't think they want to give out photos to Wikipedia. I rarely get an answer. If someone at the NHL could change this around, I would bow down in the direction of the NHL office every day. Several times!
Mo Rock...Monstrous: It is vary difficult to add photos. With out being able to attend a practice or a game with a good enough camera to capture decent photos were are at the mercy of Flickr. Even then it's difficult to find a photo of a player in question let alone persuade the owner to change the licensing to allow it's up load. Several of the players might be out there but unless someone is working on that particular article it becomes quite laborious to attempt to search through Flickr to find missing photos.
Schmloof: Many of the photos we do have are of fairly poor quality, due to the the speed of the game, and the use of consumer cameras dozens of metres from the ice. The only good quality shots we seem to have are when players are at a faceoff or standing around waiting for a faceoff, which doesn't lend itself to great "in action" pictures.
WikiProject Ice Hockey oversees 10 task forces that cover several individual teams, two Scandinavian countries, college hockey, and junior hockey. Are you a member of any of these task forces? Is a broad scope or a specific scope better for building membership and maintaining activity?
Kaiser matias: I'm a sometimes member of the Canucks task force, a group I helped form. A few years ago some members thought it would be beneficial for the project to create task forces and we went along with it for a while. However it soon became apparent to our project that we were a small enough community that it really wasn't necessary to divide our project like that. We are quite active on our project talk page, and everyone contributes on everything.
Resolute: I'm something of a one-man taskforce for Calgary hockey, but for the most part all of the project members support all aspects of the game's coverage.
Ravenswing: There was a nascent Boston Bruins task force I joined, but it started no projects, let alone completed any. I place greater reliance and have more faith in the energy and hard work of individual editors to work as they see fit than I do in grandiose projects.
Mo Rock...Monstrous: I am a member of the Vancouver Canucks task force which in terms of recognized content is head and shoulders above the rest, but that's mainly due to have a couple of dynamite editors. I think that the editors hear are all fans of the game and don't necessarily focus on particular teams, which is better overall so you're not boxed in felling like you need to only work on specific articles.
Schmloof: I'm a "member" of the Canucks task force, which essentially means that I'm a member of WikiProject Ice hockey and I like the Canucks. I think we're small enough that everyone just helps out wherever they can. In fact, I'm proposing right here that we remove the task forces, to help reduce talk page clutter.
How can a new contributor to WikiProject Ice Hockey help today?
Kaiser matias: There are several different things that a new member could do. The simplest task would be to simply expand one of the thousands of stub articles, many of which are just a few lines about the subject. Like I previously mentioned, photos are needed for nearly every article. A larger project that recently started is the Hockey Mountain, a project to bring members of the Hockey Hall of Fame and other notable players to GA status or better. At 8% complet with about 400 players listed, its got a ways to go.
Resolute: There are a lot of player articles in need of expansion, and season articles that need dedicated followers. As with most areas of Wikipedia these days, expansion and sourcing is a primary focus for us.
Ravenswing: Oh, that's easy. Steer clear of creating new articles and expanding existing team articles, areas where recentism is a perpetual problem. Put all that energy into expanding player articles and team season articles. Most of the trivia and game-by-game recaps newcomers seek to put into the main articles are quite suitable for season articles. We're also weak on non-NHL coverage; there are hundreds of minor league, college and junior hockey articles that could stand TLC.
alaney2k: I've got to agree that there are so many stubs that need attention. It's not in the spotlight, but it needs to be done. I spend a fair amount of time expanding stubs. I would ask that new editors dig into the history of hockey too. Today's players are somewhat over-represented in the big scheme of things. And the old history is pretty interesting too. Digging into Google news archives for old hockey stories is pretty interesting. I recently dug up that the Vezina Trophy's conditions for winning changed from the beginning of its awarding. I found out that several trophies were awarded -after- the dates that the Hockey Hall of Fame says they were awarded. I found out details about the 1919 Stanley Cup final that have been wrong in most accounts today.
Mo Rock...Monstrous: Stubs are a big issue and expanding them would be great, there are over 1,500 unassessed articles that need assessing, season articles could use prose, player bios that have become a little "listy" with dates and events could be changed into proes, and any user who speaks French could translate the recognized content from French Wikipedia.
Schmloof: Euroleagues! Anything you want there. Oh, and if you're a gamer, help me out with NHL 11, NHL Slapshot, NHL series, and NHL 2K11. Quality is certainly lacking here, and considering that NHL 11 is one of our most viewed pages, it'll help the project as a whole.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Kaiser matias: Anyone interested in ice hockey is quite welcome to join. Our members are quite open to new users, and with such a large scope (25,000 articles and growing), we could use extra help in simply maintaining our status, let along growing it.
Mo Rock...Monstrous: The project page is filled with helpful knowledgeable editors who I have found willing to help if asked.
alaney2k: I wanted to add that through my research and editing on Wikipedia that I was able to find an error in the NHL Guide and Record Book and get it corrected. For a wiki geek, that was pretty cool. (And you would not believe how many errors there are at the Hockey Hall of Fame web site!) Jump on in, the water's fine. I suspect we're mainly a bunch of beer-swilling couch potatoes; but a good bunch.
Schmloof: We're not big fans of gaudy infoboxes and huge navboxes (you should ask about our Derek Jeter image). Simplicity here is the key. Just edit anything you want! Hugs and KISSes.
Ravenswingr: Ultimately, you don't need our permission or approval. Grab an article and improve it!
Next week, we'll check out the biggest thing on the west coast. Until then, protect yourself from earthquakes by taking shelter in the archive.