Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sports journalist and hockey fan Jon Moncrief dies

Jon Moncrief made an impact as an inspired sports journalist and loved the game of ice hockey.

His father Jack revealed the sad news to friends and business contacts on Facebook that Moncrief had passed away early Thursday morning in Los Angeles of a pulmonary embolism. He was 42 years old.

Moncrief was a fixture in the two largest cities in the United States covering sports on radio, print media and internet programming. He dedicated his time as a hockey fan following the New Jersey Devils.

In the New York City media market, he hosted the SportsRock morning radio show in 1995 and 1996 at WRPR-FM, Ramapo College's on-campus radio station in Mahwah, New Jersey. It would come at the same time the Devils won their first Stanley Cup championship. Moncrief also worked for WFAN-AM as well as Regional News Network (RNN) in the early years of his career.

During his recent years spent in southern California's Los Angeles media market, Moncrief had been covering the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Dodgers as a beat writer for He would provide his insight on both teams with news articles and even posting live Twitter updates from either STAPLES Center or Dodger Stadium of games in progress. Last summer, he also co-hosted the SoCal Sports Weekly radio show.

But for one of his most proud projects prior to his passing on Thursday was co-hosting Inside Sports, a weekly internet talk show that covered a variety of sports from golf, tennis and auto racing to of course the four major sports leagues in the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL). Moncrief and co-host/show founder Charles E. Smith, Jr. had interviewed a variety of athletes and sports personalities during the duration of its current run.

Smith had stated today that their time spent at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, California was one of Moncrief's most finer moments. It was for Calypso on the Green, a charity tournament that took place on April 29th.

video courtesy: Inside Sports

Moncrief and Smith most recently participated last weekend in the second annual "KingsCast post-season roundtable", a webcast event that gathered bloggers and journalists from around the Los Angeles area to recap the Kings' 2010-2011 season.

video courtesy: KingsCast

After learning the news of Moncrief's death many members of the hockey community expressed their thoughts on the impact he made on them.

"What I'd like to say about Jon is that he was one of the nicest people I have every had the pleasure of knowing. I met him last year at Staples Center during the NHL draft. You could tell his passion for sports not just how he wrote, but how he talked about them. I had been a fan of his work for some time, so when he told me that he was a fan of my writing, I was truly honored and humbled. He really encouraged other writers to keep writing, keep finding their voice and not give up. I enjoyed our hockey chats even if he was razzing me about my team. It was always in good fun and is something I'm really going miss. I'm happy to have known him for the short time I did. It was an honor."
- Chelsea Alexander, contributing writer of Hockey Quarterly

"I sadly heard about Jon Moncrief. He was a guest on our show several months ago and he had such a passion for hockey. His passion was felt by all fans that read and or heard him speak about sports. Although I never met him personally, I have heard such nice things about him as a person who lived his dream and contributed to make the world a better place."
- David Isaac, co-host of Breakthrough Sports
KXXT-AM in Phoenix

"Most people knew Jon Moncrief as a sports writer, but he was so much more than that. He was a caring person and a loyal friend who always had a kind word and a smile for everyone he met. I will miss our conversations about hockey -- and life -- more than I can explain."
- Meg Jarrell, author of L.A. Kings Court

"Like many others, I met Jon through Twitter, then got to know him better via Facebook. He was always very kind and always ready to talk a little Kings hockey. When I traveled to Los Angeles for last year's NHL Entry Draft, he was one of very few writers who welcomed me and took me under their wing. In fact, a memory that makes me smile is someone posting a photo of me at the Draft on Facebook. Jon, who had been sitting behind me, commented that the Montreal radio guys next to me were being pretty loud, but that I handled it well. I only had to turn around to get a smile of encouragement, which meant more to a novice hockey writer covering her very first Draft at age 46 than he could ever have known. I didn't know Jon as well as others in the hockey world, but I am happy for the time that I did spend with him, online and in person."
- Su Ring, co-host of CCPT Hockey podcast on Blog Talk Radio

"I've known Jon for a little over a year now. I met him through Kings fans on Twitter. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the NHL Draft last June where he welcomed me with a big hug. He was such a kind soul - always something funny to say and always willing to go the extra mile to help others out. He was a great writer and human being. I know I didn't know him that long, but I was blessed to know him for the short time that I did. I was crushed when I heard the news this morning... He will be tremendously missed by all who knew him."
- Jennifer Shaw, contributing writer of View From My Seats

"My interaction with Jon was limited, but I did meet him in person a handful of times. He was always willing to shoot the breeze for a few minutes, a truly friendly hand that was always extended - a wonderful human being. Jon was a cornerstone of the Kings media community and was one of the heavies that you could count on seeing at practices, games and events. He will be missed."
- Jeremy Smith, author of The Throne Room

"He was just a phenomenal man. A huge sweetheart. An amazing sports writer. Just a truly genuine guy. Very friendly. Had a great sense of humor. Just an all around great guy. Last time he was in the hospital he was very optimistic about it and didn't let it stop him, a true fighter in that aspect. The first time I met him, you can just sense his enthusiasm about sports. I really don't know what to say. Nothing I say seems to do him any justice."
- Brianna Wells

The Los Angeles Kings organization issued a statement early Thursday afternoon on their official Twitter feed:

"The #LAKings are saddened to hear of the passing of LA hockey writer Jon Moncrief. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

Smith posted the news of Moncrief's passing on the show's official web site, its Facebook fan page and its official Twitter feed. It is expected that Smith will provide more information about Moncrief's funeral services in the coming days for Moncrief's loyal readers, listeners and viewers.