Defending Big D Announces Three New Writers, Return Of Brandon Worley

Big changes are afoot.

On Tuesday, Defending Big D enjoyed the biggest single day since we launched in 2009 -- something we seem to say a lot these days. The site and the community here is continuously growing and even more fanatic and enthusiastic than ever before, and along with that growth we continue to try to learn and improve and bring our readers the best Dallas Stars coverage we possibly can.

With that growth comes change, and I am proud to present the newest iteration of our writing staff -- including the addition of three new writers, and my own official return to Defending Big D as the Managing Editor.

First of all, I'd like to welcome Robert Tiffin, Wes Lawrence and Patrick Hayslip as the newest members of our writing staff here at Defending Big D. Robert will be taking over Daily Links for David Wilson, while Patrick and Wes are our newest feature writers -- David has been promoted to a feature writer position as well.

We're also going to be saying goodbye to Ismael Hammoudi, who has done a wonderful job with us the past few years and who is moving on to other experiences (and continents).

I'm sure most of you have noticed my involvement in the site picking the past month or so, and I'm happy to announce that -- yet again -- I am returning as Managing Editor along with Brad Gardner.

I am the Brett Favre of the blogging world.

Here is the full writing staff, for those interested, along with introductions from each of the new writers below. Please welcome and congratulate them, and we look forward to their first articles starting next week!

Managing Editors:
Brandon Worley
Brad Gardner

Erin Bolen
Taylor Baird

Senior Staff Writer:
Josh Lile

Staff Writers:
David Wilson
Patrick Hayslip
Wes Lawrence
Huw Wales
Derek Neiumeier

Robert Tiffin

I'm a 28-year-old Dallas expat whose family moved from Carrollton, TX out to the central coast of California just before 1990. One of my earliest memories as a Stars fan was back in 1998, when my brother and I would regularly check the box scores for NHL games in our small-town newspaper each morning. (Can you believe they didn't list a player's Corsi REL back then?) We didn't have cable, so the opportunity to see any hockey on TV - let alone the Stars-was rare, usually limited to stolen evenings with ESPN at my grandmother's house. (Gary Thorne and Bill Clement still make me smile.)

My fandom culminated like everyone else's with Hull's Goal, which said brother and I witnessed in a television-illuminated Chicago hotel room during a family vacation. We only partially succeeded at keeping our jubilation from waking the rest of our family. I'm still not sorry.

Incidentally, moving down to the Los Angeles area for college coincided perfectly with the brief experiment of the "Rivalry" schedule, which provided me with eight total games in LA/Anaheim each year. (Half-hearted apologies to Jaroslav Modry for all those things I yelled at the Pond after he hopped onto the bench right before a goal just to preserve his plus/minus.) I have a B.A. in Journalism that has literally and figuratively gathered dust, and I am fascinated with the evolution of hockey rules. Let's #killthetrapezoid, everyone.

I've been reading DBD for over four years now, and I can honestly say one thing: I absolutely do not miss that old green/gold city skyline logo with the hockey player silhouette that used to adorn the website.

I couldn't be more excited to join the fantastic team at DBD who have launched this site into the stratosphere. Hopefully I won't be the Russian space debris to our Sandra Bullock NASA expedition.

Patrick Hayslip

Hockey and sports are my life.

There was a point during my adolescent years where I thought, what makes me happiest?

Sports do.

I live and breathe the Dallas Stars. Every time I watch a game I catch myself holding my breath, and I have to remember to breathe. At 26 years old, I find myself falling in love with hockey more and more with every passing day.

In 2008, during the Stars' semifinal series against the Sharks, I went to the four overtime Game 6. I sat 10 rows up; seeing such a beautiful game up close was a memory I will absolutely never forget.

I've always been a fan of speed, smarts and grit. Modano, Lehtinen, Zubov, Morrow, Ott and now Benn had me salivating with every shot, hit and slick pass.

With the team finding its identity again, I couldn't be any more excited to share my thoughts and feelings with people that care about hockey as I do.

As a Texas A&M Aggie, we learned the value of tradition. Defending Big D is has a tradition of smart, informed and passionate fans. I'm hope to fit in with this new family while giving a unique perspective to a game and team I love so very much.

My dad and I always went to games growing up. It was a family outing.

I'm glad to be joining a new family of Stars fans and excited at the possibilities ahead.

Go Stars!

Wes Lawrence

The first thing I loved about hockey was a lime green, Ninja Turtles-themed street stick. It was 1993, and I'd just learned that Mr. Green was moving his team south. While I didn't exactly know what a hockey was, outside of video games, I did have a baseball mitt, traffic cones and half a dozen tennis balls. Immediately, I found myself fascinated by the strange, northern game.

In time, cones became real goals became rec leagues. I even caught on doing media work for the two time (two-time) defending CHL champion Memphis RiverKings. Heady stuff, I know. The journey left me a teller of hockey truths: FoxTrax was actually kind of cool, of course the goal counted, and "Bryan Marchment" is something you step in while jogging.

I am as excited about the Nill/Benn era as I am about contributing to DBD. Together, I'm sure we'll learn and grow. It might get wild, but as long as we can all agree Corey Perry is a thug, things will work out just fine.