October 2016 Site Update

What Took So Long?

The Goaltender Home Page began in the spring of 1994, in Bellingham on the campus of Western Washington University. It's hard to really explain this well, but there weren't very many sports web pages on the internet - heck, there wasn't very many pages on the internet at all. The only sports page that I was aware of was called Starwave, a handy (at the time) site that was eventually purchased by the folks at ESPN.

It was at this time that I came about - as a junior at WWU, with a (then) computer science minor in the works, and as a roller hockey goaltender on the side, I was looking for a way to combine these interests together and discover more about the sport. Yet (as I said), information was hard to get. The Bellingham public library had several good hockey books, including some of the Sporting News guides, and the campus library had decent microfilm access. With that, The Goaltender Home Page began, first hosted on the WWU math department's servers (which were named after individual Muppets).

The site started as a tribute to then-Vancouver goaltender Kirk McLean, my then (and current) all-time favorite goaltender, and I added goaltender trivia and the game-by-game NHL logs shortly thereafter. All of the HTML was coded by me, which was a tradition that I've tried to keep up with - of course, the new features in HTML quickly outstripped my ability to keep up while simultaneously pursuing my doctorate in mathematics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Here's what my site looked like in December of 1995, shortly before I moved the page from Bellingham to Boulder:

(Note the URL of the page - simpler times weren't always simpler.)

I kept up with the evolving style guides as best I could while working through my degree, but ultimately preferred simplicity to pretty bells and whistles. My most recent update (which I'll refer to as the "Lindbergh mask" update since I know from where I took the photo) was made while I was a professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, in the fall of 2003. This was also the time that I had to acquire my own web hosting service and the rights to the URL hockeygoalies.org. This was the last big aesthetic change to the site design.

About five years ago, I did make a major site upgrade, finally learning the basics of PHP and database architecture to be able to dynamically host the site through a database with queries driving the actual content (yes, until a few years ago, every biography you viewed on this page was a static website). This allowed me to spend much less time on the day-to-day hygiene items of the page, and start working on content.

Which Brings Us To Today

Ever since I was able to update the content drivers, I've been torn between the desire to create something more functional, and the desire to continue updating original research and content (such as pushing the NHL game-by-game logs back to 1970). Earlier this summer, I was browsing another site (which I enjoyed the layout of), and noticed that the content was available at a site called HTML5UP. I started playing around on this site, and found something that could work for me (you're looking at it). If you've got some knowledge of HTML structure and are looking to put together something nice, I recommend this site.

So now, here we are. I've started by updating the root (main) site and developed some of the content that's needed in this new style (which even renders nicely in a mobile format). I'll continue updating groupings of pages as I go, but may focus more on the content and articles as we go. One thing I need are images for the front page of the site - right now, the main site image is a placeholder (it's a photo from a mountain climb that I did earlier in the summer), and the sub-images on the front page are just blank placeholders. If you have rights to photos that might look good there, I'd love to credit you and drive traffic to your page as well - feel free to contact me at goaliehistory@gmail.com.

Also, if there's a place that you like to frequent enough that you think it warrants mention either in the headers or the footers, send me a note.

Hopefully you like the new site design, because history shows that I don't update it very often.