Not just about what you ate for breakfast or which shoes you are wearing today, Twitter has become a legitimate source for the latest news on world events, like the Egypt protests and the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. Or, you know, cyber-stalking your favorite hockey player. Which in this case, is a very good thing for the NHL.
Twitter has become a must-use for hockey fans with so many players and reporters using it continuously to get out information. Joe Yerdon of NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk has complied a Twitter list of NHLers that follows what is thought to be all 164 known player accounts. Three of those players belong to the Lightning as Steven Stamkos, Vinny Lecavalier, and Nate Thompson all use the site and have been confirmed by the team’s official site as legit.
Twitter is one of the best things to happen to the NHL post lockout. It has become a platform for players who might not get so much attention for their skill (Paul Bissonnette, Luca Caputi) to showcase their personalities. Even big-name players such as Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green have joined in the fun. The Washington Capitals have 7 players in their organization (6 NHL and Andrew Gordon of the AHL) actively using twitter, and its not a coincedence that their former head PR guy, Nate Ewell, has always been one of the strongest proponents of granting access to blogs.
Slowly, teams and the league are starting to “get it.” What the NHL has over the other professional leagues is personality. Not necessarily as colorful personalities as the NBA or NFL, but they don’t do the egotistical, obnoxious, greedy things that alienate the fans of those sports.
Hockey players are generally known as good guys. They are pretty low-key and don’t often have brushes with the law or the media. Twitter is a great forum to promote that, and that is why more and more PR offices are encouraging their players to get involved. It makes the fans feel like they are part of the lives of their favorite players.
As long as James van Riemsdyk stops tweeting naked pictures of Jody Shelley getting a massage. That’s a little scaring.