Monday, October 24, 2011

Why is Twitter Awesome?

Twitter is an interesting facet of being a hockey fan that essentially combines the awesomeness of the internet into a timeline of tiny tidbits (try saying that 10 times fast). What is it? Literally millions of people broadcasting their thoughts in 140 characters or less. Who's on it? Everyone from Lady Gaga to the Dalai Lama, and a whole bunch of hockey people in between:

Current Players
NHLers on twitter is hit-and-miss. They've got the usual cliches, overused exclamation marks, and stupid hashtags (#bro #beast #beauty #pro #sick) but when used properly they can be a snapshot of the players' lives as they go through the grind of the season and the prep (or in Ovie's case, partying) of the summer. The players seem a bit more personable, and it's always nice to get to know some of the lesser-known guys, or those who tend to shy away from the spotlight. It's also fun watching them chirp teammates and opposing players.
Notables: The man himself, Paul Bissonnette. Ovechkin and Malkin can be quite entertaining as well; the former in a drunk-tweeting sort of way, and the latter in the "hey look, I'm not really enigmatic" sense. It's a good idea to check this list, although it's not updated, for a look through your favourite teams and players. If you enjoy disappointment watch out for prospects, especially if they're draft-eligible, so you can choose which guy to set your heart on for future drafts.

Retired Players
These guys are mostly being followed for nostalgia's sake. Many tweet about watching sports, golfing, fishing, and other old man stuff. The ones on CBC's Battle of the Blades tend to tweet generic comments about how great practice was or how amazing their partners are, but are worth at least a follow from the fans of the show.
Notables: You know what you're getting when you follow Jeremy Roenick. Brett Hull and Mike Modano are other favourites since they tend to be less drab and more fun.

The teams' twitter accounts will give you lineups, practice reports, and other behind-the-scene stuff. They're also a good way to verify player accounts so you know who to follow. Team accounts have the official word on roster moves, and since that can take a while they end up tweeting news quite a few minutes after other sources, which is a long time in the twitterverse.
Notables: your favourite team! Also the NHL for big news (trades, important games) if you don't feel like following all 30 teams. Follow AHL affiliates for even more in-depth coverage.

Media Gurus
These are the guys to follow, especially during free agency and trade deadline. While the guys from the big-name networks are must-follows, it's a good idea to follow local reporters that cover your favourite teams, because they tend to spend more time around players and personnel.
Notables: There are a million and one big-name reporters out there who all end up breaking news at around the same time. My favourites are Bobby Mac and Kevin Weekes, but that's mostly because he was Brodeur's backup in NHL06 when I traded away all their good players in an attempt to sabotage the Devils muahaha (to be fair, I was 12).

Other Personalities
To be honest, I'm still a little surprised Ron Wilson's on twitter.
Notables: Allan Walsh has some interesting tweets on players he represents. Brendan Shanahan because he's Brenden Shanahan.

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