Through New Year's Eve, your friends at Puck Daddy fondly recall the Year in Hockey for 2012, such as it wasn't.
Twitter has become an invaluable resource in the hockey community, used to break trades and other news the moment it happens. But at times, Twitter goes beyond being the medium for the story and becomes the story itself.
This was the year that Don Cherry joined Twitter, so he could share rambling tales of fighting off bees with his Irishness. Logan Couture (or his Twitter account, at the very least) briefly became a vehicle for porno. We witnessed the rise HockeyyInsiderr as the heir apparent to the throne of embarrassing and dishonest fake insider nonsense. Paulina Gretzky and Paul Bissonnette were their usual attention-grabbing selves.
And all of these are things that didn't make the list. There may not have been much NHL action on the ice in 2012, but there was plenty of action on Twitter. Here are our favourite 10 moments.
Lots of people thought that $10 million over two years for Ales Hemsky seemed a bit steep. Among the lots: the guy that runs the Calgary Flames Twitter account.
The Flames apologized for the tweet and said they'd be looking into it, but we all know exactly what happened: curse you, Tweetdeck, you fickle, fickle beast.
Like many athletes, Tyler Bozak was proud enough of his Halloween costume that he decided to share it with the world. And, infuriatingly, like altogether too many athletes, that costume included blackface, as Bozak went as Thriller-era Michael Jackson.
Needless to say, controversy ensued. Sure, it don't matter if you're black or white, but blackface is the exception. The irony is that, if Bozak had just used any of the albums after Thriller as inspiration, he wouldn't have needed to darken his skin at all.
Once more, with feeling: no blackface.
Sure, it was just a joke, and a joke with some context at that, but it really couldn't have come at a worse time for the NHLPA or Evander Kane. The Jets forward, who signed a massive deal just before the last CBA expired, recently bombed out of the KHL, accused of being out of shape and unmotivated. One wonders if the millions waiting for him at home had something to do with that?
Furthermore, the NHLPA are locked in a labour battle where they're being painted as spoiled, rich athletes. And Evander Kane tweets a photo in which he uses a stack of hundreds as a phone.
Yes, the outrage was a touch overblown, but it when it comes to ill-timed attempts at humour, it was a perfect storm.
Karl Alzner had just played nearly 120 minutes of playoff hockey. He was on the ice for well over thirty minutes, including when the triple overtime game-winner was scored by the other team. Battered, bruised, defeated emotionally and literally, Alzner returned home. And then he opened his front door to wall-to-wall dog devastation.
"Dogs not happy about the loss either," Alzner tweeted.
Sure, it's funny. But it's funny because that's not your place and those aren't your dogs and you aren't covered in bruises.
Speaking of devastation...
It wasn't the only horrifying injury a hockey player tweeted in 2012. Sami Lepisto's gross, bruised leg comes to mind, as does Craig Peacock's of the Belfast Giants and his disgusting mangled nose. But neither was quite as horrifying as this, and neither was shared direct from @NHL_Oilers.
Hall's Frankenface is the result of an accident that saw him take a teammate's skate to the face during warm-ups. Then, to make matters worse, afterwards, his Mom mandated that he wear a helmet in future pregame skates.
Two things we learned Michael Yorkmark values in 2012: yogurt and follower counts. After getting into it with Devils fan Laura Rubino on Twitter, the Florida Panthers Team President sniped:
Granted, she called him an ass, but yikes.
The story took an uplifting turn, however. It was picked up by the Newark Star-Ledger, and Devils fans began to rally behind Laura. In the end, she received tickets to watch Game 6 of the Flyers and Devils' playoff series from a luxury suite in the Prudential Centre. Plus, she was the benefactor of a movement to get her as many followers as Yormark, so her opinion would finally be worth something.
Barch's Porte and OV-fueled "Jerry Maguire" moment only sort of made sense, but that was part of its charm. And, in the moment, with another bloody lockout in full swing, who didn't identify with Barch's frustrated, stream-of-consciousness venting?
Well, apart from the owners.
We've seen some amazing NHL-inspired pumpkin carvings over the years, but when it comes to unexpected troll factor, Brett Hull's "foot in the crease" pumpkin was something else entirely. "Happy halloween to all my friends in Buffalo!" Hull tweeted, with the picture-perfect recreation of the infamous goal he scored on Dominik Hasek that tops this post.
Sabres fans may technically have a case, but did they make that case via pumpkin? I didn't think so.
It's amazing how much difference a year makes. In 2011, Tim Thomas was a hero, and Roberto Luongo was the much-maligned chokey other guy, called unlikable by some, unable to do seemingly anything right. Then social media changed everything. On Facebook, Thomas became a divisive figure, espousing his support for Chick Fil-A and defending his decision to skip the Stanley Cup champion's ceremonial White House visit.
Luongo, on the other hand, quietly ran an anonymous Twitter account (as of yet unconfirmed officially, but it's him). And, as the year rolled on and it more and more evidence mounted as to who was behind @Strombone1 (partly because Luongo made it less and less subtle), we wondered how this guy's likability and sense of humour had managed to escape so many.
This post-election tweet pretty much summed up the year of shifting opinions for both goaltenders:
Not to be confused with the L.A. Kings' Stanley Cup run. The Kings came out of nowhere in the 2012 postseason, but so did their official Twitter account, which dropped some unbelievable wit and snark as the Kings racked up win after win. It started here, after the Kings took Game 1 of their first-round series with the Canucks:
And it never slowed down. By the time the Kings won it all, you could have argued that Dewayne Hankins and Pat Donahue deserved a few Conn Smythe votes.
They showed that a team Twitter account can have personality -- beyond unfortunate Tweetdeck malfunctions -- and they augmented the Kings' brand-building Stanley Cup win better than anyone could have anticipated. They were far and away our favourite thing to happen on Twitter in 2012.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney
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