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The really sad goodbye post

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The post that I never wanted to write but also needed to write, where I cry a little and say lots of thank yous.

Michelle Jay

Hi fam. Let’s have a chat.

I don’t want to bury the lede, so here it goes: I’m officially leaving my position as the managing editor of The Ice Garden.

This is an incredibly difficult decision, but it’s one that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and I know it’s the right one. If I’m being honest, this should have happened a while ago, but then the Olympics happened, and then the playoffs happened, and it didn’t feel right to walk away mid-season.

Now that the season is officially over, it is time for me to go. My day job with the AHL takes up a ton of time, and I haven’t been able to devote as much time to TIG as I want, and I think the site has suffered because of it. And to tell the truth, I need to take a break from women’s hockey writing for a bit…at least until the Calder Cup playoffs are over, maybe longer. But this isn’t good-bye for good- I hope to still do some writing for TIG or other places at some point (hello, anyone looking to hire a women’s hockey writer) and will DEFINITELY still be doing the Top Shelf podcast with Michelle. And I’ll still be tweeting about women’s hockey, obvi.

Managing The Ice Garden has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. I was no stranger to blogging or even managing a staff of writers before TIG. But building something from the ground up was something totally different, and building something as ambitious as TIG was no easy feat. We started from literally nothing- when I was hired as ME, we didn’t even have a name. I learned so much and got to be involved at every level of the process, from hiring writers and photographers and editors to organizing content to running social media and everything in between. It was scary and it was hard but it was so, so worth it because I think we’ve created something beautiful that is only going to continue to grow.

And team, I got to cover some absolutely incredible games while I was here. All-Star games, the 2016 Isobel Cup, the 2018 Clarkson Cup, the freaking WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. I got to stand in a packed house and watch Hilary Knight score a gold-medal goal in overtime days after Team USA won their fight against USAH for equitable treatment. I cannot put into words what that experience was like. Every game, every interview, every story has a special place in my heart. None of that happens without TIG, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

We have been working by committee for a long time now, and my eternal thanks goes to Mike Murphy, Michelle Jay, Erica Ayala and Meredith Foster, who have been the Core Four running TIG with me for the last few months. Without them, this site would not function. Their passion and commitment to women’s hockey is freaking incredible and I am thankful every day that I get to call them co-workers and friends.

And to all the writers, editors, photographers and artists who devote their time to TIG, I’m also so, so grateful for. I was lucky enough to meet a few of you during my time at TIG and I hope to meet more down the road. You’re all incredible humans and have made this site the incredible place that it is. And that’s not even mentioning the Slack channel and the shenanigans that go on there. Thank you for your passion and hard work.

Though I’m sad to be leaving, I know I’m leaving the site in good hands. For now, Michelle Jay and Erica Ayala will serve as co-interim managing editors until SBN can hire a new permanent person(s), and the Core Four will continue to run the site as they have been for the last few months during that time.

Finally, thank you, dear readers, for supporting us during our first two seasons of existence. This site doesn’t exist without you, and we hope that we can continue to #GrowTheSiteGame into something bigger and better.