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The Story Behind and Journey of The Next Shift

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

"No story worth telling is without adversity"


Dear Friends,

I hope you and yours are well – and your first week of 2021 is off to a great start. 2020 was a year of challenges and changes for everyone - and my case was no different. In April 2020, I was told I was indefinitely furloughed at NBC Sports -- the company where 6 years ago I began my post-hockey career and worked tirelessly to ‘climb the ladder’ to become an assistant/associate Producer for the NHL on NBC Sports…with every intent to keep ‘climbing’. After much reflection on this news, I chose not to accept this as a loss, but rather looked at it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to start something I truly cared and was passionate about.

It started in a group chat with two of my close friends, Sean and Ryan Coffey. We thought it might be interesting to share our thoughts and debates about hockey and sports (or the lack thereof due to lock-down) with others. From there, we started a mini-series on Instagram called “Sticks In”. After a few episodes, we realized a recurring theme in our discussions -particularly based on the environment we were finding ourselves in - which was:

“What are our lives with and without hockey?”

“Sticks In” quickly evolved into the “Next Shift Hockey Podcast”. Since then, we have recorded over 37 episodes with a new guest each week to talk about their lives in and out of the world of hockey. We have been fortunate to interview some of the greatest players, coaches and personalities to ever step on the ice, including: Marty St. Louis, Raymond Bourque, Jack O’Callahan, Pierre McGuire, Rick Middleton, Bruce Cassidy, David Quinn, among many others! We also landed and continue to gain media coverage and sponsorships that support our mission. We, as a Company, and as individuals, have grown and learned so much building The Next Shift, and most of all from learning from the stories of our guests.

The mission of Next Shift is, first and foremost, to build a community that believes in sharing the challenges we have faced and the lessons we learned with each other. We want to carry the loyalty, perseverance, support and friendship we all learned through sports forward into the ‘game of life’ -- we are passionate about paying it forward and paying it back to this awesome community. Our goal is to use our platform to share the stories and guidance of former players to inspire not only current players, but everyone in the sports community and beyond. Next Shift is designed to give each other support. To never give up. To always be looking and ready for the next opportunity ahead. The game is never over, it’s only onto the Next Shift.

I am posting this for and to give thanks to you and my own personal network - a network that helped me get to this point - to share what WE have created.

So, please check us out and give us a listen! This journey started with a podcast that, right now, remains our most important tool in sharing these messages and values with others. So, if you like what you hear, please share what we have created with your own network too!

If you would like to receive updates on our episodes as well as gear, promotions and any other developments in-process (e.g., our blog, consulting, networking, etc.), please reach out to us directly or use the subscribe feature on the website. Please also feel free to reach out with any thoughts or questions.

Most importantly, please also check out some of our great gear in our NS shop! You can also follow us on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple Podcasts (Please Leave a review and/or 5 stars!!), Google Podcasts, Stitcher and YouTube.

I look forward to sharing more and connecting with you through this exciting new experience!



George Hughes

Next Shift Hockey


The Next Shift Email:

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