2013-14 NHL Twitter Guide: The Best Social Media Presence on Every NHL Team
There are still a few talented free agents unsigned, but for the most part, the rosters teams have now are what they'll go into the preseason with.
Here, we'll showcase every NHL team's top Twitter presence to get you started and list the rest that didn't quite make it to the top for their respective clubs.
Only NHL players listed on the active roster for each team at NHL.com were considered. If an account was unverified, it was not considered unless there was substantial evidence it actually belonged to the NHL player.
Presence was judged on how active the player is, how often their tweets are original and how entertaining they are.
Anaheim Ducks: Dustin Penner
Dustin Penner may not only be the best player on the Ducks to follow on Twitter, he could be tops in the league.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion may have a future as a stand-up comic when his playing days are over. He had the Twitterverse retweeting at will with this one:
Honestly I don't care if you are gay or straight as my teammate. As long as you don't listen to Nickelback. #courage— Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) April 30, 2013
Boston Bruins: Torey Krug
The Bruins are not big tweeters. In fact, Torey Krug is the only member of their current active roster that's got an account—and it's not verified.
We're pretty sure this is Krug, though. Based on the photos, and the fact he's managed 23,000-plus followers.
There's nothing too exciting to see here, but Krug documented a lot of his journey as a rookie last season.
If you ever wanted to know what Krug looked like as a kid, however:
Honorable Mention: Marc Savard
Buffalo Sabres: Luke Adam
The Sabres are the yin to the Bruins' yang, and we're not just talking in terms of success level here.
Luke Adam, Steve Ott and Mike Weber all maintain an almost daily Twitter presence, while several other teammates do their fair share, too. Adam even keeps tabs on Calgary Sun letters to the editor:
Calgary Flames: Brian McGrattan
Brian McGrattan is a mutant. No, really, he says so himself.
McGrattan's got an interesting description and default photo. He's also sure to keep you entertained with chirps like this:
Honorable Mentions: TJ Galiardi
Carolina Hurricanes: Kevin Westgarth
Kevin Westgrath is a heavy retweeter, but it's rarely something a hockey fan wouldn't have some sort of interest in.
When he takes to producing his own, he's quite the commentator. Anyone who's seen a Windows commercial can see why:
There's no way I'm a good enough dancer to get the Windows tablet.— Kevin Westgarth (@KWesty19) May 14, 2013
Chicago Blackhawks: Andrew Shaw
Andrew Shaw is a pretty likable guy. His teammates respect him for his gritty style of play, and it's hard to dislike him as a fan when he does charitable things like auction off the stitches he received in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup Final last season for a good cause.
Most NHL fans are aware of the ridiculous stir Justin Bieber caused by stepping on the Blackhawks logo when he was in Chicago to see the Stanley Cup. Shaw took to Twitter to let him know it wasn't OK, a respectable move in itself:
Colorado Avalanche: Erik Johnson
Like a lot of his NHL brethren, Erik Johnson keeps tabs on his favorite TV shows and links to news stories that he finds interesting.
What's most unique about Johnson's account is his recovery process after a workout. Check out this contraption:
— Erik Johnson (@6ErikJohnson) June 18, 2013
Columbus Blue Jackets: Cam Atkinson
There was some stiff competition in Columbus, but Cam Atkinson takes the crown. His love for Discovery Channel's Shark Week is beyond anything we've encountered, as seen from the tweet and accompanying photo of his dog's mutual admiration:
Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn
Jamie Benn uses Vine to get the advantage here. And he has some of the goofier Vine videos you might find on the Internet, but is there really anything else Vine is good for?
Lunch with Vern Fiddler https://t.co/6dwWCjs40o— Jamie Benn (@jamiebenn14) June 22, 2013
Honorable Mentions: Ryan Garbutt
Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk doesn't seem like an outdoorsman to the untrained eye, but he's into fishing, and as seen below, mushroom picking.
If you venture to his Twitter, definitely check out his outfits when all of that's going on, too. I won't bore you with the outdoors stuff.
Instead, I'll share with you his best tweet to date, which may also be his creepiest:
Very cool pic.twitter.com/CL5cteRnvO— Pavel Datsyuk (@Datsyuk13) August 1, 2013
All that was missing was a "#datsyuknation #datsyukforprez" string of hashtags.
Honorable Mention: Jordin Tootoo
Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Jones
Andrew Ference's family pictures are adorable, and Sam Gagner is pretty entertaining, but infusing humor into a tweet while paying homage to a retired NHLer at the same time like Ryan Jones does here gives him the edge:
Florida Panthers: Jacob Markstrom
Jacob Markstrom is the first goalie to make the list.
The only thing to be wary of is Markstrom's love for hashtags. It seems that he's always #buzzin.
Otherwise, he's good for a quick jab at a teammate here and there, and who doesn't love a great mod to a car?
Los Angeles Kings: Colin Fraser
The cultural differences that collide in an NHL locker room are unique for a major North American-based sport. In one of his more amusing pair of tweets, Colin Fraser highlights differences in the way Canadians and Americans speak:
For my American friends that don't believe me on the "aboot" and think its "aboat" here are some different lingo can vs USA. (1)— Colin Fraser (@colinfraser) July 1, 2013
Can-eh, USA-huh. Can-garbage USA-trash. Can-BBQ, USA-grill. Can pop, USA-soda! Enjoy your day!— Colin Fraser (@colinfraser) July 1, 2013
Minnesota Wild: Zenon Konopka
Have you ever seen bunny hockey jerseys? Well, Zenon Konopka has. His unique tweets of his pet bunny give him the edge over his teammates in Minnesota, and the fact that he can make a contest out of it for fans is even better:
This is one of Hoppy's fav outfits, tweet a pic of your animals in their fav outfit-Winner gets a signed pic & puck! pic.twitter.com/mZMfDKOQLH— Zenon Konopka (@ZenonKonopka) August 6, 2013
Montreal Canadiens: George Parros
Recently acquired George Parros' online footprint is exceptional.
Wine. Mustaches. Rock bands.
It's clear enforcers are quite the entertainers. His nightly hypotheticals are the most random pieces of work featured on this list:
#nightlyhypothetical only able to wear the same Halloween costume whenever clothed OR sweat boysenberry syrup— George Parros (@GeorgeParros) July 24, 2013
Nashville Predators: Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher is a veteran leader, and he posts often on Twitter. Newcomer Eric Nystrom is another quality presence, but the incumbent wins here, in part because Nystrom still has a Stars background.
There was a lot made of free-agent forward Rich Clune posting some off-beat contract demands to his Twitter, but this may be the best commentary there's been about the incident:
New Jersey Devils: Ryane Clowe
Ryane Clowe brings a power forward type of game that the Devils lacked last season, and he brings an active Twitter account, too.
The Devils roster takes an old-school approach to social media similar to the Bruins. There are not many players to choose from here.
Clowe retweets fellow NHLers and posts lots of photos of his family. It's a nice look into his off-the-ice life and gives you an idea of who he associates with in the locker room. He has plenty of commentary on other players:
I thought Handzus was too slow? Speed is great in late march, little different game in early June.— Ryane Clowe (@ryaneclowe29) June 3, 2013
Honorable Mention: Martin Brodeur
New York Islanders: Matt Martin
Michael Grabner was an unfortunate tweet away from ranking tops among his Islanders teammates, but there's very little interest in seeing what the Austrian winger's abs look like post-workout. Colin McDonald, who got an honorable mention, calls him out on it:
Matt Martin's passion for other sports and balance triumphs here. You won't find any half-naked pictures floating on his account, just good old-fashioned fun:
Yo @grabs40 where are the keys to the Bentley? I'm in town figured I'd take it for a ride and make sure it's running properly
— Matt Martin (@mattymarts17) June 28, 2013
The Rest: Casey Cizikas, Matt Donovan (unverified), Calvin de Haan (unverified), Thomas Hickey, Anders Lee (unverified), Matt Moulson, Aaron Ness (unverified), Brock Nelson (unverified), Kyle Okposo, John Persson (unverified), Ryan Strome, John Tavares
New York Rangers: Carl Hagelin
The Blueshirts have come a long way since Sean Avery's actions on Twitter made New York Rangers upper management cringe at the idea of the social media site. The honorable mentions all do a great job giving the fans what they want here, but having a laugh at a teammate's expense makes the difference for a spot on this list.
Carl Hagelin's tweets have to make even fans of rival teams chuckle:
Ottawa Senators: Jim O'Brien
Jim O'Brien's account is not verified, but it's safe to say it's him based on all the conversations with Sens players that have verified accounts and the selfies. The account was originally run by teammate Matt Kassian, and now O'Brien is running with it. The laughs shouldn't stop anytime soon:
Philadelphia Flyers: Jakub Voracek
It's odd that we didn't see much of Jakub Voracek's funny side during HBO's 24/7 series, but his Twitter account will leave a smile on followers' faces.
It's hard to stop laughing about this classic:
Hey, at least Brayden Schenn doesn't look like Amanda Bynes circa 2013, right?
Phoenix Coyotes: Paul Bissonnette
Paul Bissonnette is the NHL's social media king. Whether it's Twitter, Instagram or Vine, Biz Nasty gives the world an all-access pass on a daily basis to his nearly 450,000 followers.
He's always entertaining, but what might be most unique is how he'll chirp back at all the "haters." Here's a look at his response when someone gets a little riled up about how much money he makes:
Honorable Mention: Chris Summers
Pittsburgh Penguins: Beau Bennett
Beau Bennett has only played in 26 regular-season games in the NHL, but that doesn't stop him from overtaking veterans like James Neal and Tanner Glass on the list.
He's hardly among the best tweeters in the NHL, but every once in a while he gets quite a few retweets and favorites with comments like this:
The draft would be more entertaining if it was full contact and teams only had 10 seconds to make each pick— Beau Bennett (@BeauBennett78) June 30, 2013
Honorable Mentions: Harry Zolnierczyk
San Jose Sharks: Adam Burish
There's only one thing better than someone ragging on the second-worst actor of all time, Nicholas Cage—someone chirping about maybe the worst actor of all time, Tom Cruise. Adam Burish has plenty to offer on Twitter, but this was one of his best:
St. Louis Blues: Adam Cracknell
Picking just one Blues player is hard considering how active nearly their entire roster is on Twitter—it seems like half the team posted about Chris Stewart's wedding. But hockey humor conquers all, and that's why Adam Cracknell gets the honor:
The Rest: Jake Allen, Keith Aucoin, David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Brian Elliott, Jan Hakanpaa, Dmitrij Jaskin, T.J. Oshie, Magnus Paajarvi, Alex Pietrangelo, Chris Porter, Derek Roy, Vladimir Tarasenko
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos
It's a rarity for a high-profile player to use Twitter that often in today's NHL. It's understandable, given some of the things that can go wrong for you in the public eye, but Stamkos manages to keep it interesting without crossing the line. Just look at this gutsy photo from Nate Thompson's wedding:
Toronto Maple Leafs: John-Michael Liles
It's evident that hockey players all tend to like similar things.
A lot of today's stars seem to like the show Suits, enjoy fishing and really enjoy Shark Week.
Indiana-native John-Michael Liles is no exception, highlighting his sense of humor:
Vancouver Canucks: Ryan Kesler
Ryan Kesler's Twitter is a mixed bag. For one, there's a lot of positive charity work in the community.
He shares a decent amount of family photos, too.
Most entertaining, however, is Kesler's "#lakelife." All summer, he's shared lots of photos from time spent on the lake. His page is littered with bromance, and if you're into this sort of thing, he's the guy to follow:
Washington Capitals: Brooks Laich
It's extremely difficult to ignore Alex Ovechkin's photos, but snippets about his dogs, mom, Gillette razor and beauty of a girlfriend get a little redundant after awhile.
That's why, instead, props have to be given to Brooks Laich.
The inspirational quotes are...ehh...OK, and the photos of Saskatoon's countryside are gorgeous, but his music commentary is what fans should follow for:
What a display by @rihanna last nite, wow can that girl move! Im sure every dude took a seat at some point to avoid public embarrassment....— Brooks Laich (@brookslaich) April 30, 2013
Winnipeg Jets: Evander Kane
Facial hair is everything in the NHL.
Well, maybe not everything, but a nice 'stache or beard goes a long way.
So, what's this got to do with Evander Kane?
This photo of him and a stranger on Instagram should clear things up: