It is with a profound sadness that members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) say goodbye to one of our own, Jason Botchford, and send our heartfelt condolences to the Botchford family.
If there is an enduring quality of Jason’s, it is his sheer combativeness, a hallmark of so many upper echelon journalists. Jason was a bulldog who was never afraid to break a few eggs in making his omelette, and in his innovative, signature work — The Provies, followed later by The Athletties — Jason earned his huge and loyal following by refusing to bow to convention while telling Vancouver Canucks readers what was right or wrong about their team.
Jason was a long-time Chapter Chair for the PHWA in Vancouver, and an example of how to thrive in today’s ever-changing landscape in hockey journalism. His brand was absolutely unique, he was imbedded in his market, and no matter how far and wide you travelled, you never met or read another writer and thought, “Hey, that guy is a lot like Jason Botchford.”
There was only one Jason, and if he wasn’t your cup of tea, that wasn’t his concern. He was true to himself, his employers — The Toronto Sun, The Vancouver Province, The Athletic, CKNW and TSN — and perhaps most importantly, his readers and listeners, whose loyalty was returned 10-fold.
Few of us have engaged a readership as passionate as the following ‘Botch’ had West of the Rockies.
Today, our hearts are with those readers, our fellow PHWA Members, and the Botchford family, as we say goodbye to Jason.