Trending Topics is a new 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?
Well, hockey season started this week when rookie camps officially convened, and full training camp isn't far behind. That means we're going to get up-to-the-second information from beat writers, exploring every bit of minutiae about the teams we love to follow.
And while this can be beneficial to fans of hockey teams across the continent, it brings with us a very annoying problem, as highlighted by our own Sean Leahy.
"Hey, 3 weeks until the puck drops for real ... & unnecessary live play-by-play tweeting of faceoffs & penalties."
Oh yes, that. I'd nearly forgotten.
Anyone who follows all their local beat reporters knows there are one or two guys out there who will give you updates on every shot attempt into the glass and icing call. For every game. All season long. That's 70 or 80 Tweets a game of information you couldn't care less about.
No one who's not at the game or watching on TV cares that Tomas Holmstrom(notes) just went offside and forced a draw in the neutral zone. People follow reporters on Twitter for news, like injuries or newsworthy quotes, not second-by-second updates of games they're watching.
People that follow beat writers, I'd think, tend to watch most, if not all, of their favorite team's games, and a small handful of reporters seem to have no understanding of that. There's a need for them to be on Twitter, but most users, even the ones who are stuck somewhere and can't watch a game, scroll right past those play-by-play Tweets.
Now imagine you're a person who follows more than one team. Say you follow, I dunno, all of them. Imagine the hell that is the average game night when you're just trying to suss out injury updates.
There should be rules for this sort of thing.
(Coming Up: The Stars share their contract info; Zherdev ditches English; Roenick on Twitter; and your dose of BizNasty.)
First, let's try to keep Tweets under 10 a period, eh? In almost every case, that'll cover you for goals (when's the last time you saw more than six in one period?), and a couple other big plays that are worth mentioning. Any more than that is likely overkill.
Really, no one needs simple score updates when there is a goal. "Carter makes it 1-0 Flyers," is info I can get almost literally anywhere. Was the goal pretty? How did it happen? These are the important aspects that don't show up in a box score. For people who want to see things that happen all over the league, it's nice to know if people should be on the lookout for a highlight-reel goal.
If there's an injury, people want to know the pertinent information, obviously. And not just, "Looks like his knee," but how did it happen? Did it look like it would keep him out for the rest of the night? What's the word in the press box? If you know something like this, everyone that follows you should too.
And hey, why not talk about what's working and what isn't for the team you're covering? That's the stuff you can't pick up from a Gamecast. You probably know more about hockey than your followers, and letting them know some of the basics of how the game is going beyond statistics will make you much more interesting to follow.
I figure if reporters follow any one of these suggestions, everyone's lives will be much easier.
The Dallas Stars know we know
One of the things that always bugged me about NHL teams after they signed free agents is the phrase, "Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed."
What's the point? We're all going to know within five minutes anyway, if the team even broke the news in the first place. And that's rarely the case these days.
"Neal's contract is 2-years: 1st year, $2.25 mil; 2nd year, $3.5 mil. Niskanen is 2-years: 1st year, $1.25 mil; 2nd year, $1.75 mil."
They did that, and the universe didn't explode or anything. More teams should treat fans like they're not stupid.
It's almost like Nik Zherdev didn't play here for five years
Then he noted that he did indeed interview Zherdev, who spent a year in Russia and apparently forgot every word of English he may have bothered to learn, and said it didn't go well.
Then came the actual interview, which was worse than could have been reasonably expected. Quotes of note include, "How it is gonna go, it's gonna go. I don't want to predict anything," and "I don't feel anything; I don't know."
That'll be a fun dressing room.
Because you just didn't have enough access to Jeremy Roenick's opinions, he's got a Twitter account now.
Pearls of Biz-dom
BizNasty on going green:
"One of my tp packages was environmetally friendly stuff. So I'm saving our world while dropping food babies. Now I need solar panel speedos"
If you've got something for Trending Topics, holla at Lambert on Twitter or via email. 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.