Podcast focused on Islanders keeps growing


Sean Cuthbert, a native of East Rockaway, has turned his lifelong passion for the New York Islanders into something more meaningful.

He started a podcast, which has been improving season after season.

Cuthbert, 41, said he started recording “Hockey Night in New York” from the basement of his brother’s house in East Rockaway in 2014, along with his brother, a cousin and a buddy named Tony. 

“This was going to be kind of a passion thing,” Cuthbert said. “Just to see where it went. Then, wouldn’t you know it, all of a sudden, people started listening to it.

The audience started growing, and we made something out of it, and we just kept going, and ever since then it’s grown.”

Cuthbert and his co-host, Stefen Rosner, 26, a Bellmore native and a journalist with The Hockey News, offer insights from both the professional’s and the sports fan’s perspectives.

“I’ve always been writing, but I knew that it was definitely something I wanted to do and try,” Rosner said of podcasting. “It has been awesome. I mean, getting to talk about hockey.

That’s my job. I get to do it full time during the day, so why not be able to do it by talking to the audience?”

Filmed weekly at Floored Media, in Rockville Centre, the show is unlike others in its category.

What sets it apart is not only its longevity, but the fact that it is the only sports podcast in the region that gives fans an interactive platform to discuss their favorite players, ask special guests questions and hear them answer live on the air.

Cuthbert grew up in East Rockaway, and played hockey for Chaminade High School. Despite having mastered the fundamentals of the sport, however, he doesn’t consider himself an expert.

Rosner offers the show another element, taking fans inside the locker room and going behind the scenes for unique content that no other show provides.

Cuthbert and Rosner both say that it’s the outpouring of support from Islanders fans, and their responses to the weekly webisodes, that have kept the show going for the past decade.

“I don’t know how long the show would’ve gone on,” Cuthbert said.

“But what ended up happening was that people started listening and remained listening, and then more people jumped on.”

As a result, Cuthbert was able to turn the podcast into a highly successful side hustle, gaining both local notoriety and access to Islanders players.

“I mean, it’s certainly not paying all the bills or anything like that,” he said, “but to be able to put a few dollars in your pocket just for sitting down and talking about your favorite hockey team? That’s not bad, right?” 

Rosner also attributes the success of the podcast, and his ongoing work as a journalist with THN, to the support of fans.

“The reason I got the job I got was the social media following,” he said.

“So I would be nowhere without the fans that are tuning in.”

Thanks to the show, Rosner said, he has been approached by fans who have recognized his voice or seen him walking around UBS Arena.

“These people are really tuned in, and they love it to the point where they’re asking for more — or they don’t love it, and they’ll tell you that, too, which is fine,” he said.

Unfortunately, the Islanders were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs last week, losing the fourth of five first-round games to the Carolina Hurricanes on April 30, 6-3.

Cuthbert said before the game that if the team was eliminated, he and Rosner would likely do a season recap, highlighting some of the best moments of the past year, before heading into the summer, when they’ll discuss the team’s offseason trades, free agents and draft picks.

“We basically fire things up in September, because that’s when training camp starts,” Cuthbert said.

“The thing about our show is that it’s based on current events. It’s a weekly show that covers what came in the week before and what’s coming in the week ahead.”

In addition to their regular coverage, the show has featured a number of special guests, including prominent hockey writers, rival podcasters with the “Rangers Ed.” podcast, Hockey Hall of Famers such as play-by-play broadcaster Mike “Doc” Emrick, and Islanders legends including Bobby Nystrom and Thomas Hickey.

Fans can tune in to the show every Sunday night at 8 p.m. at Twitch.tv/HockeyNightNY, and join in the laughs, cheers and tears as Cuthbert and Rosner go through the Islanders season one shift at a time.

The show is also available live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.