Brilliant. Genius. Amazing. Extraordinary. Visionary.
These are all words Puckrant.com Ltd. President and CEO Richard Cloutier knows how to spell.
But who is the man; the enigma; the legend?
"Stop, you're making me blush," he said. It's true though. What everyone has been saying about him, good or bad, is all true.
Cloutier has the following things wrong with him: First, he lives in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, Boyle, Alberta? Blah. So what if Boyle is the home town of sports broadcasting legends Brian Mudryk and Jan Onrait (Note: Onrait lived in Boyle for three years until his family ran screaming to the less insignificant town of Athabasca)? Cloutier isn't even from Boyle originally, he's from Lac La Biche, which is bigger but tragically more obscure. Boyle just kinda happened to him.
Another thing wrong with Cloutier is, well, what is he, anyway? He's not a sportscaster, journalist, writer, reporter, or member of the media. Not one thing about him is legitimate. He doesn't write like the average blogger. He's got no sources; no friends; no life. He styles himself after Matthew Barry, but unlike Barry, he doesn't shower. Still, Cloutier is immensely talented at something. If you need someone to write on a topic from an angle no one has ever heard of nor do they care about, Cloutier is your guy.
Cloutier has two educations - Social Work (Mount Royal University) and Public Relations (MacEwan University). Since graduation in 1998, he's hopped from job to job, leaving a wake of broken and disconsolate clientele to pick up the pieces after his wrath. He's done it all: He's worked for a newspaper, a fundraising consulting firm, the provincial government, a treatment facility...even a college. And every single place regretted hiring him at some point. Finding someone with Cloutier's combination of smart-assery, malaise and pointlessness is hard to do, but somehow, employer after employer manages to do it.
With respect to hockey, Cloutier is a lifelong Oilers fan. He also was the fat kid they stuck in net, because we all know, obese children make a better door than a window. When he wasn't stopping pucks or using a shoehorn to squish into seats at Edmonton Northlands (now known as Something-or-other Place), Cloutier grew up banging on the drums, playing Atari, failing English class (a 27% in Grade 11 Literature), or just being an absolute poser, which really wasn't that uncommon in the 80's. Worst. Decade. Ever.
So just how did someone with Cloutier's...ummm...attributes become President and CEO of the best hockey blog website in the history of the universe?