I went over to Fire and Ice this morning as I do every morning; it's one of my usual stops to catch up on my favorite team, along with our site here. Since I had not checked the site since yesterday morning, I read an update from 9:05 last night which left me stunned; it simply says:
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Preparing for a farewell to Fire and Ice
After 18 years at The Record and northjersey.com, including 14 covering the Devils, I'm excited to announce I will be joining NHL.com as a regional writer based in Washington, D.C.
I am sad to be leaving New Jersey, where I have lived for more than 23 years, and covering the Devils, but am looking forward to being part of the team NHL.com is building.
The Devils' home game next Tuesday against Buffalo will be my last assignment for The Record.
I have so many great memories, including some we've shared here on the Fire and Ice blog, which did not exist when I started covering the Devils. I plan to write about some of them here in a final post following the game Tuesday night.
While I'm never entirely sure of what news will be posted on F&I, I was not expecting to see a farewell. Tom Gulitti is highly regarded as one of, if the not best beat writer for any NHL team. He gave fair, no nonsense reporting and kept his headlines free from click bait; fans (myself included) loved the information that he was able to report about the team, and appreciated the fact that he was dedicated to reporting rather than generating numbers for a website.
I never got to actually meet TG, but I was in the same room as him during the Devils' Summer Development Camp; the one thing I noticed right away was how professionally he carried himself even though he was around the team so often. He also came off calm and laid back; in addition, he wound up in one of the pictures I snapped, as he was interviewing Steve Santini at the time, and I wanted to have a picture of Santini to post had I been able to upload the pictures.
As a Devils fan, news of TG leaving saddens me, mostly because we do not know who his replacement will be, nor do we know if he will be as professional and/or effective as Tom has been for the past 14 years. We may wind up with someone who has a completely different style; any change at all certainly takes some getting used to and this is one that may take a whole for Devils fans, or at least those of us who have been following Tom for a while.
On the flip side, I'm excited to see what Gulitti will bring to NHL.com as a regional writer; it seems like its a great opportunity and something that he wants to do. I just want to know exactly what "regional" means here; are we talking Metropolitan division since it's based out of D.C. and we would still be seeing TG indirectly covering the Devils? Or does it mean the more immediate surrounding area and TG wouldn't be responsible for New Jersey?
There's little information so far, and probably more questions than answers, but the real purpose of this article is to simply say thank you to a man who spent 14 years providing excellent coverage of our favorite team. There have been a lot of changes with our Devils the past couple of seasons: the retirement of Martin Brodeur, the new owners, Lou Lamoriello's departure, the renaming of this blog, the AmeriHealth Pavilion becoming the Barnabas Health Hockey House , and now TG departing from Fire and Ice/The Record.
So thank you TG for every report, every update and every memory you have provided us with during your tenure covering our team and good luck to you working for the NHL itself!
What are your thoughts on TG leaving The Record? What are some of your favorite memories from what he has posted? Do you or do you not see him as an integral part of reporting about the Devils? Leave any and all comments below and thanks for reading!