Luke DeCock has been promoted. He is now a columnist rather than a beat reporter.
Ordinarily I would be wicked happy for the guy, but his replacement is Chip Alexander–who knows dick-all about hockey and (if the last 11 years is any indicator) can’t be arsed to learn. Not only that, but his previous attempts at covering the Hurricanes have not exactly been all that great.
Back in 1999ish, when Cecil Harris was driving every Hurricanes fan up the wall with his constant slamming of the Hurricanes, Chip decided to meander on out to the IcePlex (the Hurricanes’ practice arena at the time) because he was working on an article about that Yanqui sport that he knows nothing about. While he was there, he decided that it would be a good idea to snark at Ron Francis about whether or not hockey really belongs here in NC…nevermind that North Carolina has had professional hockey teams in some way shape or form since the mid-50s.
As you can imagine, when that story was related by witnesses on The Hurricanes Penalty Box (a fanboard that was a casualty of the lockout) it didn’t go over very well. I’m fully expecting that this gig won’t go over well with the fans either.
And his first post to Lord Stanley’s Blog where he bragged about knowing the ACC and NCSU better than Luke has not exactly won friends and influenced people either. I mean, really–LSB is a hockey blog. WHO CARES ABOUT THE ACC OR STATE (unless you’re talking about their damn fine hockey club), ya freakin’ toolbox?
Really, this just flat doesn’t bode well. Even with J.P. Giglio (who understandably but regrettably turned down the gig because of family obligations) helping out by doing the actual hockey reporting, I really think that the N&O has executed a serious downgrade here.