Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that the NHL season is back with a vengeance with local favourites the Toronto Maple Leafs dominating the headlines as per usual. Love them or hate them, everyone knows about the Blue and White. They are all over the television and radio as they always have been, and now more than ever the internet—and social media—is full of Leafs fever, too.
The guy behind one of the internet's leading independent Maple Leafs based websites, MapleLeafsHotStove.com (MLHS), is actually born and raised in Peterborough. His name is Alec Brownscombe, and at only 23 years of age, he has already been running the mega popular site for six years—which he originally started to simply express his joys and frustrations about his favourite franchise.
MLHS focuses on game reviews, player info, and the increasingly sought after analytics—"money puck"—side of the game, and has been cited over the years by the likes of The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, USA Today, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland and more.
The website has grown and now has 7 regular contributors (including frequent writer Anthony Petrielli from Richmond Hill), and Alec has partnered up with Declan Kerin from Cobourg to run MLHS—which has almost taken on a full-time schedule of its own.
A history grad from Trent University, Alec grew up in the rinks around Peterborough with his brothers both playing and watching the great game nonstop. With his love for hockey continuously growing, he took to the internet as a way to chat with fellow fans about the ins and outs of the game. This introduced him to numerous sites where he eventually became a contributor before he decided to venture off on his own in 2008 and founded MLHS at age 17.
Over the years with the expansion of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, Alec has put more and more time into its growth and has learned the ins and outs of both the sport itself and the business side of operations as well. As a reader, he found the media landscape for Leaf coverage to be completely toxic, and thought his blog could provide a perspective that—while both insightful and critical—could offer some hope to its readers that the Leafs could one day get better. And it's working as the website is a hit—attracting more than 6 million page views last year alone.
Over the years as the site has grown in popularity and influence, Alec and his team have had a chance to interact with many members of the Leafs—including both management and players. If you’re a fan of the Maple Leafs, make sure to check out MapleLeafsHotStove.com if you haven't yet. You can also follow them on Twitter and on their Facebook page.
—by Aaron Elliott