I have a confession to make: my name isn't actually Gunnar Carlsson. Here's some more stuff you may not have known about me.
The Early Years
I was born in Saskatoon to Chinese immigrant parents. Pretty early on, my family moved to Toronto, bouncing around a couple areas of the city before settling in North York.
My earliest hockey memory is of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. I remember watching in horror as my hockey hero, Paul Kariya, lay motionless on the ice after taking a devastating blind side hit from Scott Stevens. I don’t know if that series was the moment that made me a hockey fan but, looking back, it’s the one that sticks out the most to me.
I became a Leafs fan because anything else was inconceivable to me: Toronto was the only city I knew, the Leafs were perennial playoff contenders, and they had adorable, rosy cheeked Tomas Kaberle anchoring the blue-line. Other favourite players of mine were Mats Sundin, Alex Mogilny, and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Oh, how things change.
By the time the 2005—06 season rolled around I was in far too deep. My heart belonged to the Leafs. Not even the past ten years have been able to change my loyalties.
I was a (mostly) casual fan until my last three years of high school. The Phil Kessel trade piqued my interest. Of course, the team ended up finishing 29th in the league that season. I have excellent timing.
Anyway, that was the year I stumbled across Steve Dangle’s LFR videos. I was happy just watching his videos until I got to university. I started reading hockey blogs, interested in learning more about a game I loved but only had the most superficial understanding of.
Eventually, I found my way here. I read the occasional post on PPP before my floor fellow (hey Gaurav!) mentioned loving the site and I decided to take a closer look. Fast forward a couple years and now I write here!
I was brought it to do FTBs and game previews. I also do breaking news coverage and the occasional feature. [shameless plug] I’ll be doing Montreal Stars coverage for
the enemy Eyes on the Prize next season, so you can find me there as well. [/shameless plug]
Speaking of women's hockey, I'm a pretty big women's hockey fan and have been for as long as I can remember. Hayley Wickenheiser, Cassie Campbell, and Caroline Ouelette were favourites of mine growing up. I got a lot of crap from my family when I was younger for being a hockey fan so the entire Canadian women's hockey team were an incredible joy to watch every year.
Me, circa the early 2000s. Likely the last time I ever wore a dress. (That's a slight exaggeration. I think I had to make it out of elementary school before I convinced my parents to stop putting me in dresses).
Life Outside of Hockey
I’m a student, heading into my fourth (and hopefully final) year of university. I study political science and cultural studies, which is equal parts exciting and frustrating (a girl can only read so much Marx before her brain starts to melt). The end is in sight, though! At least, it is if I ignore the many more years of schooling I have to endure because the majors I picked make me completely unemployable.
Anyway, moving on.
I am a gigantic television nerd. Gigantic. I enjoy all sorts of narrative storytelling (films, books, and video games, mostly) but television has always been my absolute favourite storytelling medium. I could probably talk for days about the aesthetic turn that modern television is taking. I love that my academic career has allowed me to understand television on a much deeper level.
I’ve recently gotten into soccer after watching the World Cup. Still have no idea how offside works and probably never will, at this point. I also try to do the whole fiction writing thing, but am admittedly pretty bad at it.
Speaking of things I’m terrible at: I started playing house league hockey at my school last year. I was the worst player on the ice in all the games I played and it wasn’t even close.
In general, I have a pretty big love for learning, especially things that skew science and math, which is why I gravitated so strongly to analytics early on. Using numbers to explain hockey just made intuitive sense to me.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Your prize is the ability to follow me on twitter! You can also ask me questions down below if you're into that.