One of the perils of being an athlete on Twitter is that, if you're involved in a provocative incident like the one that took place Friday night between Eric Nystrom and Taylor Fedun, angry fans have a direct line to you.
After the game, Nystrom defended himself and expressed his guilt over Fedun's horrific injury. From the Globe & Mail:
"I feel awful," Nystrom said. "He was really hurt and I had obviously no intention of ever, ever doing anything like that. I was just racing for an icing and that's one of those freak things that happens in those situations and it's why people always say that rule (should be changed to no-touch icing). If I didn't think I had a legit chance at the puck I would have never raced in there but I just thought I had a good jump and I could maybe get in there. ... I feel terrible. So bad right now."
But that didn't prevent the fans from coming after him. And, because Nystrom is on Twitter (@enystrom23), he's incredibly easy to come after.
However, rather than shy away from their vitriol, the Minnesota Wild forward has been taking the time to respond to many of the tweets.
Nystrom already feels a great deal of guilt, and the majority of these tweets definitely aren't making him feel better.
After explaining himself in the postgame scrum, Nystrom has continued to do so in a handful of exchanges, such as this one:
It's a good point that he makes. With a new guy behind the bench in Mike Yeo, many of the depth players that had already proven themselves to Todd Richards have to start from scratch, and beating out an icing call is a good way to do that. In the last game of the preseason, every little bit helps to solidify that roster spot.
Some people have taken issue with Nystrom's explanation, but he's stuck to his guns.
Others have just done their part to make Nystrom -- who already feels vomit-inducingly bad -- worse.
But not all the tweets have been negative. A few have been supportive.
According to Nick Kypreos, Fedun had emergency surgery late last night, which may have included inserting a metal rod into the fractured right leg, so Nystrom wouldn't have been able to see him. One imagines that probably compounded the guilt.
It can't be much fun being Eric Nystrom right now, but Nystrom wants you to know that he'd gladly be Taylor Fedun instead.
Check out Nystrom's Twitter feed for more interactions between the player and the fans.