November 12, 2010
Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear Internet instead?
Remember the other day when Wyshynski was talking about New Jersey Devils minor league goaltender Mike McKenna's(notes) novel approach to Twitter, he probably didn't know that Mr. McKenna's former account, @MikeMcKenna56, had already been deleted.
McKenna had spoken eloquently, and at length, about his belief that Twitter can promote individuals in the game, and that the medium had to be used wisely.
In the end, it seems he didn't follow his own advice. While McKenna had been a perfectly good tweeter, talking a bit about the sport and a bit about his interests, he ended up making a mistake that likely caused team officials to put an end to his social networking ways.
(Coming Up: An Edmonton Oilers radio guys goes homer-wild; Mike Gillis joins the Twitterverse, and the Twitterverse responds; and your Pearls of BizNasty.)
As you may or may not know, Martin Brodeur(notes) had been sidelined with (just) a bruise on his elbow the last game or three. As it happens, when Lou Lamoriello needed someone to call up, McKenna was likely to be The Guy. In fact, they made it official on Wednesday, recalling him from Albany ahead of the Devs' game with Buffalo.
But that was the problem: the night before the Devils announced his call-up, McKenna hopped on Twitter to say, "Hopefully I-87 doesn't have much traffic tonight... (!)"
That was the last message he sent to his followers. The account didn't make it through the night.
See, I-87 is the road that runs between Albany and Jersey, and that was a hell of a hint to followers, likely to mostly be Devils fans, that McKenna was going to get the call-up to open the door for the big club while Johan Hedberg(notes) got the start.
In other words, he tipped Lamoriello's hand. And since Lou's the kind of guy that would insist Marty Brodeur's bruise isn't a problem right now, with a gun to his head, he probably didn't like that too much.
If he didn't close down the account voluntarily (and why would he?), this is a little bit of an overreaction from the Devils. McKenna's interview soon after getting the call reads as if it was conducted with a 5-year-old on Christmas morning. He is noticeably giddy to be up with the big club. Who can blame him for wanting to cryptically do a little online fist-pumping?
But that's one aspect of players' social media use GMs likely hadn't considered: minor league players excited they're getting an NHL game. There are enough AHL guys on Twitter that this could legitimately happen on a semi-regular basis.
They'd be understandably pumped to get the call from the big club, and even if organizations aren't all lovers of cloak and dagger stuff like Lamoriello is, you gotta reckon that any situation which might level the playing field by tipping a roster transaction a bit earlier than the team wants is going to be frowned upon.
Take it easy, Dan Tencer
The good thing about Twitter is that, when you freak out, everyone gets to share and enjoy your misery. Such was the case on Tuesday night when the Carolina Hurricanes administered a good old fashioned skull-crushing to the Edmonton Oilers.
Dan Tencer, whose Twitter bio describes him as "Host of Inside Sports on 630 CHED, M-F 6pm-9pm. Host of Oilers Radio Network broadcasts. Hockey junkie," had a big-time meltdown as the Oilers surrendered four goals in the first eight minutes on the way to a 7-1 rout.
Tencer wasn't so concerned with the fact that Nikolai Khabibulin(notes) coughed up four goals on eight shots so much as he was that the referees for the contest, Kevin Pollock and Frederick L'Ecuyer, were TOTALLY BLOWING THE GAME UGHHHHH!!!!!
Cogliano gushing blood after a high stick from Pitkanen...RIGHT IN FRONT of the referee! How the HELL do you miss that? Embarrassing.
At that point it was 1-0. Then the Oilers took a penalty. Then another. And the Hurricanes converted on both chances. Then popped in one more for good measure. Said Tencer:
Parents: please stop being so hard on young refs. If more youngsters stick with it, we can do better than Kevin Pollock & Frederick L'Ecuyer
Then he added:
Those 2 officials, by missing that call and moments later calling a phantom penalty on Penner, totally altered the course of the game.
He later added that okay sure maybe the Oilers would've gotten smoked regardless but jeez you guys these refs huh? Gosh.
Perhaps next time you dial it back a little bit, and think before you Tweet.
A little while back, Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis said he would join Twitter at some point this season, and on Tuesday, he made good on that promise, starting up the @GMMikeGillis account that would soon give the world exactly zero insightful tweets.
But before Gillis could get a word in edgewise, @artemchubarov wondered aloud what the GM's first tweet would be. He got the ball rolling with, "Boy, if Dale Tallon hadn't waived party-boy Grabner and blown that pick, I'd really be regretting the Ballard trade."
Others soon joined the fray. Some highlights follow:
@gutsmctavish24: I hope no one tampers with my twitter account when we're in Toronto
@whatnojagr: wonder how Bieksa will like Washington..... oh crap. Shouldn't have said that! LOL!
@passittobulis: Hopping on @Team1040 to talk Canucks FML
@Twitchy67: I'm here to interact with fans in a more honest and open forum. I'll be here til someone disagrees with me.
@mozy19: It's my first day.
@smoothmedia: Woah! Justin Bieber is on here, this place is cooler than I thought!
And the winner:
@GMMikeGillis: I have a twitter account after months of talking about it. Plan to be active & update every few days. In OTT getting ready for Senators tmr.
Oh wait that sucked.
Pearls of Biz-dom
BizNasty on fiscal responsibility: "Going out to eat with my new financial advisor tonight. Jonas. In other words he's the fun police. RIP #MakingItRain"
If you've got something for Trending Topics, holla at Lambert on Twitter or via e-mail. He'll even credit you so you get a thousand followers in one day and you'll become the most popular person on the Internet! You can also visit his blog if you're so inclined.