NHL refutes report that it’s banning fan-created GIFs


Is the NHL about to ruin fans’ Playoff GIF Parties?

Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reported on Tuesday that the “NHL is now not allowing anyone to post gifs. Huge news given playoffs are about to start.”

Well, yes, it would be. This news was fueled by the ever-present concern about how the NHL’s deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media could lead to restrictions on fan-created media that we saw in baseball; and the curious absence of NHL GIF creator Stephanie Vail, who disappeared from Twitter last week. Vail, who creates GIFs under the handle @myregularface, has landed on several lists of influential hockey people and earned gigs with NHL teams this season for her tireless efforts on game nights.

One thing, however: It’s not true, says the NHL.

“I don’t know where this came from, so I’ll tell you on the record: It’s not true. There’s been no change to our policy. We have not shut down GIFs,” said Gary Meagher, executive VP of communications for the NHL.

He said the policy won’t change during the postseason, but that there are always discussions about where the League and BAM want to take social and digital media.

One place they wanted to take it, apparently, was in-house: As Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported, Vail was in talks with the NHL for a job but ultimately declined to accept one. The NHL declined comment on if it’s still actively seeking someone to create that media for them.

So stand down, everyone, and GIF away. It’s a Clone Club dance party!



Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.