January 27, 2012

Original Six: Must follow hockey Twitterers

By Jesse Connolly

With more than 300 million reported users now tweeting their hearts out, having Twitter is nearly a necessity for sports fans and writers alike. As a great source of breaking news, entertainment, celebrity worship and the perfect place to mingle with fellow fans, the social media site has proven to be a true game-changer. For New Englanders and Bruins fans alike, here’s a balanced bunch of hockey folks who pack a punch in 140 characters or less.

6. @wickedbruinsfan

Jaci Donahe, Bruins season-ticket holder

1,812 followers

As a season-ticket holder for the past three seasons, a longtime attendee at TD Garden and a regular presence at practices at Ristuccia Arena (almost always with her camera in tow), Jaci defines what it means to be a diehard Bruins fan. Not only has she become close with those that pack the seats on Causeway Street, she also might just be the most well-networked B’s devotee on Twitter. If you’re looking for a friendly, fellow fan to chat with, there’s simply no better choice.

Sample tweet from @wickedbruinsfan: So let’s all take guesses how much I spent at the #bruins pro shop on Friday. Gotta be within $5.

5. @wyshynski

Greg Wyshynski, editor of Puck Daddy

46,443 followers

As the writer and editor of Yahoo! Sports’ widely-read hockey blog, Puck Daddy, following Wyshynski is practically required reading for anyone with a sliver of interest in hockey. The ever-humorous scribe has proven that content is king, as his blog has plenty of it with outstanding opinion pieces, numerous pop culture references and the always enjoyable “Jersey Fouls” blogs. Furthermore, Wyshynski gives plenty of shoutouts to the little guys in the hockey-writing universe, a gesture certainly worthy of a proper stick salute.

Sample tweet from @wyshynski: I don’t want to say Flyers and Rangers are playing to HBO cameras, but rumor has it they both break out in song at 10:00 of the 2nd.

4. @TSNBobMcKenzie

Bob McKenzie, hockey insider

254,232 followers

For as long as most hockey fans can remember, McKenzie has been the No. 1 authority when it comes to rumors, trades and breaking news. TSN’s revered hockey insider seems to have more sources than anyone. Over and over, McKenzie gets the scoop on all the happenings across the league, regularly breaking deadline-day deals, hirings, firings and looming suspensions before any of his colleagues. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the NHL, he’s the guy to follow.

Sample tweet from @TSNBobMckenzie: Hearing David Perron will play for STL tomorrow. Hasn’t played since hit by Joe Thornton Nov. 4, 2010. Great to see him on verge of return.

3. @NHLBruins

John Bishop, Bruins web content manager

121,218 followers

While the Bruins’ official Twitter page seems like a slam dunk to make this list, John Bishop — the man responsible for 99 percent of the Bruins’ tweets — simply does a phenomenal job of keeping fans up to speed on the day-to-day happenings of the Black and Gold. With his stream of in-game updates, quotes from the dressing room, wealth of insightful stories from the team’s staff and plenty of behind-the-scenes photos of the Stanley Cup champs, “Bish” has helped the Bruins become one of the top NHL club presences on Twitter.

Sample tweet from @NHLBruins: Assists to Marchand, Ference on 11s goal. First even-strength goal of the night for B’s. “Soupy’s” first goal against FLA (former team)^BISH

2. @jackedwardssays

Jack Edwards enthusiast

2,510 followers

Though the real Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) joined Twitter at the tail-end of 2011, many have attempted to fill the void of the most polarizing figure in hockey broadcasting.  No one does a better job of evoking the Bruins’ play-by-play man’s quirky style and mesmerizing one-liners than JackEdwardsSays. The anonymous Edwards enthusiast tweets direct quotes both during and in between games like a mad man — a true treat for Bruins’ fans. The real Jack will be in for a challenge if he hopes to be as entertaining as his No. 1 admirer.

Sample tweet from @jackedwardssays: You can’t spell Funayama without the “Fun” and the boys are having fun tonight, eh Naoko?

1. @ryanwhitney6

Ryan Whitney, Edmonton Oilers defenseman

68,679 followers

Though it may be from a fear of being controversial, most pro athletes — especially hockey players — tend to be reserved and, frankly, a bit boring on Twitter. Ryan Whitney doesn’t fit that mold. The Oilers defenseman and Scituate, Mass., native holds nothing back, regularly chirping his fellow NHLers, bemoaning the failures of the Red Sox and barking about ESPN neglecting hockey. The former BU star — who broke news of fellow Bay Stater Keith Yandle’s deal this summer — also is good for downright hysterical, self-deprecating jokes.

Sample tweet from @ryanwhitney6: Tough to get on the score sheet from the press box bro RT@shawnmiller4 How did you not get any points last night in 9-2 win?

This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of New England Hockey Journal.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com