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ABOUT THE HOST

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About the Host

Chris Botta started the Hockey Press Podcast as a way to show his gratitude and pass some knowledge forward from his long career on both sides of the media equation – as a communications executive and as a reporter.


For each episode, Botta is fortunate to be able to reach out to a long list of friends, colleagues and contacts around hockey and ask many of the best of the best to share their stories, strategies and insights.


Botta was blessed to spend more than twenty years with his hometown NHL team, the New York Islanders, in a variety of roles that culminated with a decade as vice president of communications. Along the way, he loved every minute of it, worked with Hall of Famers like Al Arbour and Bill Torrey, and experienced a series of uniquely challenging moments. These included the disastrous change to the fisherman logo, the franchise’s endless quest for a new arena, and the sale of the Islanders to a man who had no money and ended up in jail. Botta also had a short stint as the interim color commentator on Islanders radio broadcasts. His attempts at doing the job for about 100 NHL games also inspired the idea to start Hockey Press Pass.


After resigning from the Islanders in 2008, Botta pursued another career he occasionally dreamed of: as a writer and reporter. He created Islanders Point Blank, which – thanks to Islanders fans – did surprisingly well, and covered the hockey and soccer industry for SportsBusiness Journal. He also wrote about the NHL for The New York Times and the dearly departed AOL Fanhouse, had articles published in Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News, and was utilized as a commentator on SNY, NBC, the NHL Network, WFAN, and ESPN Radio, among many other broadcast outlets. He is the co-author (with Stan Fischler) of “Pride & Passion,” a book on the remarkable first twenty years of the Islanders.

Botta returned to PR in 2014, when he had the privilege of continuing to learn the craft from countless exceptional colleagues at the Madison Square Garden Company. His PR career has also been shaped by a pair of important experiences: as a college intern for a complete season with the Philadelphia Flyers when they reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 1987, and a consultancy with Major League Baseball around the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in 2008.

Since 2016, Botta has built his own communications practice, where his work included a five-year stint until March, 2021 as a consultant in the early days of the National Women’s Hockey League. He lives on Long Island with his wife, Catherine, and three young adult sons.

Chris can be reached via email at presspasspodcast@gmail.com or the contact form below.

CONTACT

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