We first encountered Sarah Baicker on Twitter a few months back when something happened with the Philadelphia Flyers, though I can’t really remember what it was. I do remember she had some memorable tweets, though! Sarah is the Philadelphia Flyers reporter for Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia, so she travels with the team, writes and provides TV reports on the all the Flyers news that’s fit to talk about – and there’s already been plenty to talk about this offseason.
We took a few minutes to chat with Sarah about hockey and some other stuff. Enjoy!
1. Your Twitter profile says you are a big Pearl Jam fan. Did you see they threw in a little bit of “Let It Go” the other night in the middle of “Daughter?” Approve or disapprove?
I did see it! (And, in truth, probably close to 20 real-life friends and Twitter friends sent me the link.) While I’m about as sick of “Let it Go” as everyone else with ears is, Pearl Jam can pretty much do no wrong, in my opinion. It was clever and cute of them to hop on board and do their version of it. Approve!
2. We’d be dumb if we didn’t ask you about the Hartnell deal. General consensus from fans is that Columbus gets the better of the trade. What’s your opinion?
It was definitely a shock, but the longer I’ve had to think about it the more I think I understand. New GM Ron Hextall wants the Flyers to get faster on offense. R.J. Umberger is faster than Scott Hartnell. I wasn’t a huge fan of Hartnell’s playing on the top line either — so with him gone, that space opens up to either a current player or someone brought in via trade or free agency later this summer. Is Hartnell the superior player? Yeah, he is. But when taking into account the Flyers’ plans going forward, I get why the deal was made.
3. Tons of people would love to be in your shoes – NHL reporter, daily insight into the innerworkings of a younger, but already legendary NHL franchise. So let’s throw some water on that – what’s the WORST part of the job?
First things first: My job IS great. I get to watch hockey for a living and travel to crazy places I would have no other reason to visit (i.e., Edmonton) to cover games. But it’s definitely not as glamorous as it might at some times seem. For one thing, I work a lot of weekend nights and holidays. It can be hard to have a normal social life when you’re working ’til close to midnight regularly, multiple times a week. Also, press box food can be pretty icky.
4. One of our favorite things about you is not only that you’re an NHL reporter on TV, but you also PLAY the game. Stick salute! When did you start playing and where did the love of the game come from?
Thanks! I’ve always been the kind of person who isn’t satisfied just being a spectator, and after my dad took me to my first Flyers game as a kid, I knew right away being just a fan wouldn’t be enough for me. I started playing when I was about 12 — I started off playing roller hockey for a local YMCA team (I was the only girl in the league and wore No. 33 for the legendary Manon Rheaume, even though I wasn’t a goalie). Less than a year later, I tried out ice hockey, and I was hooked!
5. Tell us about your biggest goal or favorite moment while playing hockey.
I have a ton, and it’s impossible to choose a favorite, so I’m just gonna brag about what happened to my spring league team last week, if that’s OK. Every year my team, the Philadelphia Voodoo, plays in an in-house spring league at IceWorks in Aston, Pa., and we’ve had pretty good fortune in the past — we won the championship last year. Well, this year, we made it to the championship once again, though our opponent, West Chester University, was easily the toughest we’d ever faced. We were down 4-0 late in the second, and trailed 4-1 heading into the third. No one quit, though, and we fought back to win 5-4 in OT! It was awesome to be a part of that.
6. Are you into your gear? What are you rocking for skates, sticks, gloves and helmet?
I am SO into my gear. It’s always Bauer for gloves, helmets and skates, and they’ve been so great in letting me try out gear over the years. I currently use a pair of Danny Briere’s old gloves that I adore, and my skates are X90s. For sticks, I’ve used Easton for as long as I can remember (literally. I still have an UltraLite from ’99 hanging out somewhere in my apartment). Recently though I’ve had a chance to try out Base’s sticks, and the level of customization they allow is blowing me away. I just picked up a new twig from them, too.
7. Is Steve Mason enough to take the Flyers far?
I think so, if he plays like he did last season. What impresses me most about Mason is how, when he puts in a bad game or two, he’s able to narrow in on what’s going wrong for him, fix it, and never do it again. He doesn’t allow things to get into his head in the way a lot of goalies seem to.
8. What is the last thing you laughed really hard at?
I have a pretty strange sense of humor – nothing gets me laughing harder than stupid jokes or random wordplay. Yesterday, though, I was having a text conversation with my best friend at CSN, an Eagles reporter, and we basically had a whole discussion replacing at least one word per sentence with the most random emojis we could find. Hard to explain, but trust me, I was laughing so hard I was crying and maybe even snorting a little, and everyone nearby was staring.