I can’t say I was familiar with Murat Ates before doing research for this post. I knew I wanted to review something Winnipeg Jets-related but wasn’t sure what I would come across. The Jets are in a complicated spot as the least valued of the seven Canadian franchises, yet they are also tied for the best odds to win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
The city of Winnipeg undoubtedly has a TON of passion for hockey, their fans are some of the best in the league. The creation of the “White Out” during postseason home games has made Bell MTS Place one of the most difficult arenas for opposing teams to visit in late spring.
However, that being said, it is no secret that the Winnipeg market is greatly surpassed in size by the likes of hockey media giants like Toronto and Montreal. Smaller markets generally have fewer media members, and that means fewer people to choose from when writing a Trusted Journalist Review. Taking all of that into account, you could imagine my elation when I stumbled across Ates, and his coverage immediately caught my eye.
Murat Ates – A Love for the Game
A native of Pinawa, Manitoba, Ates details his humble beginnings as a fan of the game in his “Why I am joining The Athletic” piece, which can be found in its entirety here. I have to say, I have read quite a few of these introductions over the last year or so as more and more prominent hockey writers have joined The Athletic. This one stood out to me in a big way.
From falling in love with the game at an early age, like many of us, to continuously wanting to be involved in the game at a higher capacity, Ates paints a picture of how his life came to be consumed by the world of hockey. The narrative is one I relate to closely on a personal level, as in a way it tells a story similar to my own introduction to the hockey world.
Ates makes a point of noting that some fans will never be interested in taking a deep dive into hockey analytics or lengthy features. Yet, for those who want to get a bit more out of the game, to understand and engage with the sport in a more comprehensive manner, those hockey fanatics have a place to turn to as well.
In-Depth, Quality, Coverage
When I say Murat Ates will give you comprehensive hockey coverage of the Winnipeg Jets, I mean it. After just a few reads of his work, it is clear that Ates isn’t afraid of numbers. Again, stats and deep diving aren’t for everyone, but there are many cases when analytics can shed some light on an on-ice situation.
In a recent piece, Ates broke down the Jets’ five-on-five numbers over the last couple of seasons, and uses those statistics to predict how the team will likely fair heading into 2018-19. This might sound like a lot of head banging and critical thinking that you haven’t had to do since high school or college, but Ates makes the numbers easy to manage and digest, so that readers won’t feel lost reading along. The use of diagrams and charts is a big plus for visual learners (like myself), adding an element that breaks up articles into more doable sections.
Here is a radio interview with Ates on Winnipeg 1290 discussing Blake Wheeler’s recent contract.
Along with statistical pieces, Ates also uses video footage to illustrate points in his writing. A piece hot off the press on Jets’ first-line center Mark Scheifele, uses specific on-ice plays to show what it is exactly that makes the Winnipeg star so good at what he does. These types of breakdowns give the average fan a view of the game that they might otherwise miss in real time.
In my personal opinion, I believe it is the responsibility of hockey journalists to share their knowledge with their audience in an educational and fun way. Sometimes writers put more emphasis on one of those qualities than the other, which either will lose a reader’s attention or impart on him or her very little new knowledge. Murat Ates does an excellent job of blending the two qualities together.
His passion for the game oozes through his writing in a way that comes across as extremely genuine. He goes to great length to have positive interactions with fans on social media, and the hockey world is better because of his contributions. Jets fans, if you haven’t already, make sure you give his stuff a look.