The Hockey News was greatly saddened to hear of the death of long time Chicago Blackhawks correspondent Tim Sassone yesterday. Sassone was a true professional who covered the Blackhawks for the Chicago Daily Herald since 1988. He was 58.
I was a Chicago Blackhawks fan growing up and each week my fingers and eyes quickly turned to the stories written by Bob Verdi, Neil Milbert, Mike Perricone and Tim Sassone when The Hockey News arrived in the mail.
As a kid in the 1970s, I liked the way Verdi and Milbert took me into the Blackhawks dressing room long before the days of television sports networks and the internet. In the 1980s when I developed an appreciation for the English language as much as I did a three-way passing play, I leaned on Perricone and Sassone to follow my team.
Sassone penned his first story in The Hockey News in August of 1989, writing about the Blackhawks trying to keep Doug Wilson in Chicago with other teams making offers.
When I joined The Hockey News as a copy editor a year later, I considered it a royal treat to deal with Sassone on a weekly basis. We'd talk about various story ideas and he was always open to our suggestions. He was the authority on all things Blackhawks related and he was a wordsmith with his team stories and features.
Back in the day when THN editor-in-chief Jason Kay and myself would come in on Sundays to crush copy, Tim’s Chicago file was always a welcome sight. It didn’t last long in the queue though. Sassone’s writing ability and attention to detail made it among the easiest edits in the league. He, along with Wayne Fish in Philadelphia and Rich Chere in New Jersey were our most tenured correspondents.
Our deepest condolences go out to Sassone’s family.
For more on Sassone, here’s an obituary in the Chicago Tribune.
Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior editor and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Brian Costello on Twitter at @BCostelloTHN