In the past couple of years, while social media has become a centrepiece of society, the NHL has been upping their game. From players to families, from journalists to fans, social media has become the direct-line for interaction with and education on all things NHL.
There are over six million followers on the official NHL Twitter account. The rivalry goes beyond the ice now, as stars and teams become content creators with players thumbs working year-round.
As we did for the NBA, we’ve put together a list of fans, teams, players, and journalists. We’ll make sure to cover all the essential accounts for you to be keeping your eyes on in 2020.
Fan accounts and parody accounts are highly popular on social media platforms. The act of “trolling” has begun to influence all areas of society, as we see our sports stars and celebrities start to embrace it. Parody accounts can be utterly hilarious, or in equal measures, dull and repetitive. Either way, let’s dig deeper and see what’s worth our time.
NHL veteran winger Dany Heatley, AKA Big Heat, has taken to podcasting and taking on the role of social media conductor. He’s a frequent Tweeter, pumping out a running commentary on every talking point in the league, and he’s not the type to shy away from an argument. He’s had a few issues with the Twitter world, as well as with other hockey commentators, due to his rash, heat-of-the-moment comments. Keep an eye out for Big Heat.
Seattle Kraken. Idk if I like the name yet but if that’s the actual name then you have to nickname the fans the Krakheads— Big Heat (@DanyAllstar15) January 29, 2020
For a long time, it wasn’t clear who owned this account until the internet found out it belongs to Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo going under the alias Strombone. Luongo has accumulated almost 800k followers on Twitter, commanding an audience of enthusiastic hockey fans keen for the next drama. Strombone often pokes fun at issues in the NHL, the players and the way things are being run. He even engages in some epic rants with Twitter folk.
The Radek Bonk-inspired channel belongs to Eric Doty, who is a die-hard Ottawa Sens fan. Doty is known for his witty comments, backed with an in-depth knowledge of the game, notably from the perspective of a Canadian NHL fan. Though he has a relatively small following, his humour is on point, as is his retweet game. Kudos for the handle Bonks Mullet. It’s genius.
I'm hearing there are 25 scouts in attendance tonight at the Sens-Sabres game. They've built a small campfire in section 203 and now they're working on pitching their tents.— Bonk's Mullet (@BonksMullet) January 29, 2020
Social Media offers society something unique, a way to interact with our idols and those that influence us. Whether the interaction is genuine or contrived, it’s hard to say. Nonetheless, the majority of NHL teams’ Twitter accounts offer users the ability to keep up-to-date and follow the teams’ every move.
At present, the Blackhawks command a staggering 2.5 million followers on Twitter. They can tell a story or news piece engagingly and innovatively, that separates the Blackhawks from the rest of the pack. Chicago goes the extra mile and their marketing team must be credited for their media selection and captivating captions.
Pittsburgh doesn't miss a beat in the social media world. Not only can they boast almost 2 million followers, but they also post excellent community content. Every time in the NBA is committed to giving back to the city, but often as fans, we miss out on precisely what’s going on.
Fortunately for the people of Pittsburgh, The Penguins document nearly every move they make. We are starting to see a trend from sports teams posting more “natural,” from-the-heart type of content, for which the Penguins are seasoned-vets at doing.
The Bruins divide their social media activity across Twitter and Instagram. The majority of their imagery and interactive media are posted on Instagram, while the Twitter feed features news, updates and is the best source for play-by-play updates.
The Bruins always put up their post-game reactions and interviews from the stars, which is excellent for Boston fans. An inclusive and proactive attitude towards their social media presence makes them one of the best NHL team accounts.
For better or worse, players, coaches and those associated with any hockey team will know that the game doesn’t stop when the buzzer sounds. Most of our NHL journalists aren’t reporting much comedy, but they are providing the most up-to-date news and insights into the best hockey league in the world.
If you know Hockey, you know Elliotte Friedman. He’s currently working as an NHL Insider, Sportsnet and CBC’s Hockey Night. His Twitter account has a monstrous following, with over half a million hockey admirers following his daily rants. Friedman has the inside scoop and utilizes his access to the news very well. Often using short, sharp comments to summarise his stance on particular issues in the game.
Have never seen that before. Marchand overskates puck on shootout attempt, PHI wins— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 14, 2020
Bob McKenzie has been in the game since 1986, one of the longest standing hockey commentators and certainly one of the most respected. Currently serving as an analyst for TSN. So often we are drawn to baseless nonsensical conversations on Twitter. But Bob is the rare exception, conducting a civil discussion rationally and objectively. A true gem of the game.
Vacation is almost over. Back to work next week, although I’m checking the fine print in my contract. Still hoping to see a clause where I don’t have to start work until after Mitch Marner and all the other RFAs have already signed. Not liking my chances.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) August 29, 2019
Residing from Boston, Jeremy Roenick enjoyed a successful career in the NHL. Now he commands a following of almost 600k on Twitter. He’s certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but Roenick tells it how it is, and in the age of “fake news” sometimes candid commentators like Roenick can be refreshing. Equally, at times, he can get right under my skin.
It’s a very sad day saying goodbye to Arthur Valicenti, mine & Tony Amonte’s HS Hockey Coach.— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) January 25, 2020
One of the greatest influences and Role models in my life.
RIP Mr. V! You made a huge impact on so many and I Thank You for everything.
Until we meet again my friend 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZIc4v2rKMP
We’re seeing an increasing amount of sports stars interacting with their fans via social media, even though the majority of these stars have millions upon millions of followers. Let’s take a closer look at the NHL players, who are utilizing social media in a fun and engaging way, including a few examples of their finest work.
@Bmarch63 - Brad Marchand
Everyone wants to hate Brad Marchand, and the Bruins marketing team doesn't hold back on hyping up his character. Although in jest, they have managed to create this persona of the troublemaker.
Brad Marchand does his best to live up to expectations, and with Twitter as his forum expression, he has developed a world-class troll game. He’s the kind of guy who will always have the last word, even when you think it’s over. Like back when the Bruins were in the playoff series with Tampa Bay, during which Brad licked Callahan and was put "on notice" by the NHL to stop.
😘— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) May 7, 2018
@ovi8 Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin blew up in the social media world back in 2018 when the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup. His behind-the-scenes antics attracted a considerable following, who are rewarded with videos of the parades, Stanley Cup sleep-overs and the infamous keg stands. Followers even labelled that period, “The Summer of Ovi.”
P.K. Subban is another divisive character. He was the overwhelming winner in the NHL’s player poll for the best social media presence. P.K. has a very active social media presence, documenting everything from the behind-the-scenes movements of his team to taking on his role as a prankster at home with his partner Lindsey Vonn.
He has over a million followers on Twitter, who get a glimpse into the life of a pro hockey player. Also, much like Bieber before him, Subban has even named his followers - the Subbaniacs.