The Complete Guide to Following the Chicago Blackhawks on Twitter

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2013

The Complete Guide to Following the Chicago Blackhawks on Twitter

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    Your heart stopped that Monday night in late June when the Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in four years.

    You love the Blackhawks and can't get enough of them. TV, radio, newspaper and straightforward internet information is simply not enough. You want more.

    You know you can find more on Twitter, because there are experts out there who can give you what you want in 140-character increments.

    We know you don't want the run-of-the-mill, rah-rah types. You want the smartest, sharpest and most enjoyable follows. In this piece, we are here for the die-hards, those who live, breathe and eat Blackhawks information.

    Here are the twitter follows for those who roar at the National Anthem and made Chelsea Dagger their wedding song.

Barry Rozner, Daily Herald

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    Twitter Handle: @BarryRozner

     

    Credentials: Sports columnist for the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald; Fill-in, part-time radio host on WSCR-AM

     

    What Makes Him Worth It 

    The Daily Herald may be the third newspaper in the Chicago area behind the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, but Rozner does not have to take a backseat to anyone when it comes to hockey knowledge or insight. 

    He loves hockey, has been covering it for decade and he has built up plenty of respect in the locker room. He grew up in Chicago loving the Blackhawks, but he is a thoroughly professional writer who tells the truth about the team. He does not let his childhood passion color his thoughts.

    He is not afraid to to tell the truth about the Blackhawks, but you get a bonus when you follow Rozner because of his hate of all things Vancouver. He has called out the "goons" and "felons" that he believes have populated that organization for years. As a result, the supersensitive Canucks fans have become his followers so that he could respond to his trash talking. It's worth the price of admission.

     

    Intangibles

    Rozner loves to tell stories about himself. While that may sound obnoxious and conceited, it is not. He does not tell stories that promote his brand. Instead, he reveals the most embarrassing incidents that he has lived. Rozner's tale of a horrific bathroom accident that occurred while he was on the golf course is revolting upon first hearing it, but it is a testament to his honesty and refusal to put himself in the best possible light.

Mark Lazerus, Chicago Sun-Times

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    Twitter Handle: @MarkLazerus

     

    Credentials: Blackhawks beat reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times

     

    What Makes Him Worth It 

    The Chicago Sun-Times is struggling for survival in the No. 3 market in the country, but it has long had a credible and compelling sports section. The sportswriters at the paper are hard-working, colorful in their writing and stay on top of the information flow.

    Lazerus is among the best at his paper for providing up-to-date information and he is not likely to get scooped. He puts the information out on his twitter account and he is devoted to his beat. If he wasn't, why would he not be covering a Blackhawks' September scrimmage at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning in South Bend?

     

    Intangibles 

    Lazerus is smart, clever, funny and on top of the situation. He wants to be first and he wants to break news. You get the feeling that if you had to go into the corner to compete with Lazerus, he would not hesitate to throw an elbow to win the battle. If you were going to pick just one twitter follow, you could do a lot worse than to select Lazerus.

Jay Zawaski, WSCR-AM

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    Twitter Handle: @JayZawaski670

     

    Credentials: Executive Producer and hockey host at WSCR-AM; Chicagonow blogger

     

    What Makes Him Worth It

    Zawaski is the top hockey expert at the No. 1 sports radio station in Chicago. He produces The McNeil and Spiegel Show, which is the most hockey friendly program in the city. In addition to arranging for all the hockey coverage, he has his finger on the pulse of the team and knows what is going on inside the organization.

    More than most media members, Zawaski can read the tea leaves and explain the meaning behind each move the organization makes. For example, if a minor-league player is promoted, Zawaski will tell you the ramifications of the move not just for that player but for anyone who is impacted. 

    Simply put, Zawaski speaks Blackhawks hockey.

     

    Intangibles 

    Sharp and clever, Zawaski knows a line of bull when he hears it and he will call out others who try to pass it along as gospel. That can be a rare quality, so his twitter followers know they are getting a source who is not trying to curry favor.

Tim Sassone, Daily Herald

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    Twitter Handle: @TimSassone

     

    Credentials: Blackhawks beat writer at the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald.

     

    What Makes Him Worth It 

    Sassone is the most veteran of the guys on the Blackhawks beat. He has been covering the team since 1988, and hockey was in his heart and mind long before that. A Chicago native who grew up going to games at the old Chicago Stadium and sitting in the second balcony, Sassone has seen it all and looks at the team with a veteran's eye.

    Very little is going to get past him and he keeps his followers updated with all the team's news and developments. Sassone is the guy that all the other out-of-town hockey writers look to for dependable Blackhawks information. 

     

    Intangibles 

    Sassone seems the quiet type, but don't mistake that for a lack of professionalism or work ethic. He is going to get the story and he is going to get it full and complete. You're in good hands with this thorough professional.

Patrick Sharp

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    Twitter Handle: @10PSharp

     

    Credentials: Chicago Blackhawks forward

     

    What Makes Him Worth It 

    Many of the Blackhawks have twitter accounts, but most are not worth the time it takes to click on them. Sharp is a different story. While he is not a frequent tweeter, what he puts out is worth reading. Sharp is not afraid to give his opinion on non-hockey subjects. He is thoughtful and well-spoken.

     

    Intangibles 

    You are not going to get a lot from most active players in the NHL, but Sharp's waters run a bit deeper than most so you will get a few nuggets that allow you to feel more closely related to the team.

Dan McNeil, WSCR-AM

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    Twitter Handle: @DanMcNeil670

     

    Credentials: Sports radio talk-show host.

     

    What Makes Him Worth It 

    Dan McNeil is the most dominant talk-radio host in Chicago because he simply wins the ratings race no matter who his partner is, no matter what station he is on or what hours he's on the air. That gives him gravitas.

    While he has passion for all sports (except basketball), the Blackhawks are his favorite team and he has supported them since becoming a Chicago radio fixture in 1988. Why is this important? Many within the team's hierarchy know that McNeil has always supported them—even in the lean years—and they are more than willing to pay him back with nuggets of information that he will pass on to listeners and twitter followers.

     

    Intangibles 

    McNeil is the kind of sports fan who loves to watch the game, talk about the game and enjoy his favorite beverages and foods while watching. He is also ready to give his opinion on all areas of the movie and music businesses, and he's also not afraid to put his money wear his mouth is when it comes to wagering. Big chief Mac-Hawk, indeed.

Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune

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    Twitter Handle: @ChrisKuc

     

    Credentials: Chicago Blackhawks beat writer for the Chicago Tribune

     

    What Makes Him Worth It

    Kuc is the man for the largest and most influential newspaper in Chicago. While TV, radio and internet often dominate newspapers, that still means something. He is basically embedded with the team and he is going to give you all the comings, goings and significant moves made by the team.

     

    Intangibles 

    Kuc is on the conservative side and that means he is going to give readers and twitter followers something that is closer to the team's point of view than other reporters and columnists might. We're not saying he's a stooge for the team because that is not the case. However, he is going to give you a balanced view most of the time.

Sarah Spain, ESPN1000

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    Twitter Handle: @SarahSpain

     

    Credentials: ESPN anchor, host, reporter

     

    What Makes Her Worth It 

    It's a testosterone-laden crew that is charged with covering the Chicago Blackhawks on a regular basis, but Sarah Spain is one of the talented exceptions to that rule. She covers all sports so she is not Blackhawks exclusive, but she does an excellent job of getting the news and she does it with flair and clever language.

    She's also a hoot to follow on Twitter because she speaks her mind and does not try to tone it down to curry favor with anyone. She gets good information on the Blackhawks and reports it well.

     

    Intangibles 

    A former athlete who is not afraid to mix it up with the boys. That always makes for an interesting dynamic and it makes her a must-follow on Twitter.

Q's Stache

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    Twitter Handle: @CoachQsMustache

     

    Credentials: Sarcastic and clever homage to the spectacular mustache of Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville

     

    What Makes It Worthwhile 

    There is clearly a devotion to hockey players who grow beards during the Stanley Cup playoffs. But give the mustache its due, especially the one on Quenneville's face. It is thick. It is bushy. To devotees of facial hair, it is nearly perfect.

    As an homage to Q's upper lip, the twitter account referenced above provides commentary on all things Blackhawks. It is sharp, funny and worth following. Coach Q's Stache has more than 18,000 followers.

     

    Intangibles 

    If you love hockey, the Blackhawks and anything related to facial hair, this is the twitter account to follow.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    Twitter Handle: @NHLBlackhawks

     

    Credentials: The team's official Twitter account.

     

    What Makes It Worthwhile 

    This is obvious. Any time the Blackhawks make an official move, it's going to be posted on their Twitter account. In addition to personnel moves, the Blackhawks also provide plenty of photos from games and practices, video reports and key quotes. 

     

    Intangibles 

    While many tweets will have a pro-Blackhawks spin, you have to check out the team's twitter account to make sure you don't miss anything.