The Holiday season can be unforgiving. After limping your way through Christmas dinner’s with in-laws, family and co-workers you’d never normally have dinner with, you are subjected to Best Of and Year In Review Specials for nearly two weeks – All of which declaring something you probably already knew: Sidney Crosby isn’t bad at hockey and Jonathan Toews had a pretty good year.
Because you haven’t suffered enough, and because a ton of cool stuff happened in the online hockey world this year, here’s our (kind of, but not fully) complete retrospective look at 2010 in the hockey blogosphere:
(Please note this is a list of things that happened online on Twitter, blogs and more. Just because it happened in the NHL world or on TV, doesn’t mean it applies to this online list. Thanks!)
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis ripped the Olympics for how little they catered to the NHL and NHL owners on his blog, TedsTake.com. It’s only kind of ironic that a Billionaire is balking at jersey prices.
One of the top Coyotes hockey stories of the year. #ThrowTheSnake started on Twitter but soon became bigger than all of us. Jeff Marek even broke it down on Hockey Night in Canada’s iDesk. That, and the insane buzz that collected, forced the ‘Yotes to issue warnings to fans not to throw any snakes. Good thing someone didn’t listen. I don’t use “epic” lightly… but this campaign was epicly epic. It’s all your fault (read: nice job) @TravisHair and @Chemmy.
Kyle Wellwood & Shane O’Brien’s Pizza Crawl Hoax
HockeyIndependent.com ran a great satire detailing plans for a Chicago Pizza Crawl with several NHL players including (at the time) Vancouver Canucks teammates Kyle Wellwood and Shane O’Brien. Because fact checking is overrated and kind of a pain, NBC Chicago ran the story not understanding it wasn’t real. They’ve since admitted they fell for the joke. Nice.
Bob McKenzie Actually Gave Credit To Eklund
In the same month the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, they were forced to trade nearly a third of their roster to fit under the 2010-2011 salary cap. Rumours were swirling about trades the Blackhawks were going to make. One of the 300,000 trade predictions Eklund made actually came true and saw the Blackhawks pull the trigger on a 9-player trade with the Atlanta Thrashers. Bob McKenzie then credited Eklund with reporting the trade first. Great. That acknowledgment alone means we’re stuck with Eklund for at least another year.
I still remember this day. Another hilarious NHL-Twitter meme. Here’s a recap of some of the more delicious tweet’s that day.
BizNasty Joins Twitter
Paul Bissonnette, a relatively unknown NHL enforcer on the Phoenix Coyotes, joined Twitter and immediately became a hit. Bissonnette amassed thousands of followers for his hilarious insight and candor. And then, tragically, @PaulBizNasty was put to an end. But then, to the delight of thousands in the hockey blogosphere, @BizNasty2point0 was born. Several months later, the account is still active and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. If you aren’t following BizNasty, you are missing out. He’s one of the best Twitter follows in all of sports. Follow him here.
Interviewing With The NHLPA
(Shameless self promotion). A (long) story about how I spent the summer interviewing with the NHLPA for a cool marketing job. It’s 100% true, although most people don’t believe me.
DGB Hits The Post
Hilarious blogger Down Goes Brown made news when he announced his weekly columns would appear online and in print outlets of the National Post. It’s an interesting step by a mainstream newspaper to provide something new to readers, although I’m not sure the National Post audience gets the humour.
(BTW, I didn’t come up with that clever title. DGB did.)
Pension Plan Plagiarism
Popular Toronto Maple Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets translated a Newspaper interview with Tomas Kaberle’s father from Czech to English. Not exactly setting-the-world-on-fire stuff, but August in the NHL is pretty dull. A few days later, Dave Fuller, a writer for the Toronto Sun, created quite the stir when he didn’t credit PPP in an article that was strangely similar to the original Puppets blog. For no real reason, I’m placing blame on @Chemmy.
Mainstream Media vs Bloggers
Greg ‘Puck Daddy’ Wyshynski poured gas on the ongoing MSM vs Bloggers fire by posting a leaked NHL email for how teams credential bloggers. Of course, this got the entire blogosphere riled up. (Sidenote: The NHL should really work to ensure private emails aren’t released to the general public in the future or something crazy could happen…). Here’s several good blogs that came out as a result:
Ian Mendes, Sportsnet
Justin Bourne, Jtbourne.com/Puck Daddy/USA Today
Mike Chen, FromTheRink.com
Ahhh, such a hilarious outcome from such a stupid comment from Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dan Ellis. Puck Daddy summed up Ellis’ tweet gone wrong, while Adrian Dater urged Ellis to return to Twitter because of his colourful insight. My thoughts? Ellis is a bit green when it comes to life.
Justin Bourne sparked controversy when he suggested, from his personal experiences, that steroids can be found in NHL dressing rooms. Bourne even found himself on TSN’s Off The Record to defend his comments 24 hours after publishing the article.
Pat Burns: “I’m not dead yet”
Stories about legendary coach Pat Burns death surfaced on Twitter when an unknown source prematurely tweeted the tragic news (*cough* Damian Cox *cough*). The story was put to rest when Burns himself reached out to TSN’s Bob McKenzie to quash the rumours.
Introducing Houses of The Hockey
HOTH was introduced to the hockey world with mixed reviews. Of course those reviews were mixed between awesome and F!@#’in amazing.
One day after firing coach Scott Gordon, New York Islanders GM Garth Snow informed IslandersPointBlank.com founder (and former Isles PR head) Chris Botta that he would no longer be granted press credentials or arena access to cover the team. This came after Botta criticized the organization and its direction. Although most people sided with Botta, some didn’t. I still don’t think I care.
Tyler Dellow Blows Campbell’s “Colin” Wide Open
This blog will probably go down as the story of the year. You know which one I’m talking about. The story that revealed the emails of Colin Campbell, the NHL’s Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations, calling Marc Savard “a little fake artist.” The NHL has tried to downplay this story as much as possible, but it will be remembered and brought up for years to come. This was as damaging a PR story as anything the NHL has gone through in recent years. Although the story was broken by a blogger, it was backed up and confirmed by CBC and TSN, with proper credit given to Dellow and his website.
Cox Actually Admits Fault
Damian Cox requires little introduction, if at all. For once he stopped trying to set-off Twitter, following some rather disparaging comments about Tyler Dellow and the hockey blogosphere days after the “Email-Gate” story was broken. Cox admitted to the offside and apologized to Dellow, via Twitter.
Pass It To Glass
Loyal (and awesome) Canucks blog, Pass It To Bulis, recently challenged Vancouver enforcer Tanner Glass to a Scrabble showdown. Apparently the challenge was made after PITB learned Glass and Aaron Rome often engage in Tile battles while traveling. Anyways, Glass accepted PITB’s challenge and the story was mentioned during a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
Thanks to the amazing hockey blogosphere for so many great 2010 memories. Question: Did I forget any other memorable online-driven moments? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks and Happy New Year!