NHL Social Media: The Good, The Bad, The Hilarious

The real winners: NHL’s top teams in social media. Courtesy of Track Social.

At its best, most social media accounts for our NHL teams allows the clubs to inform and interact with their fans.  Every day, you can find the newest highlights from the game the night before, or listen to coaches wax philosophical about wins and losses.  Some teams go as far as increasing tense rivalries with chirps, that begs the question, is social media good or bad for the NHL?

The Montreal Canadiens social media team has been behind some of the greatest chirpings in recent history.  Responsible for the bet with Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon that ended in a humorous loss where Youppi, the team mascot, was humiliated into wearing a Rangers jersey in Montreal after the ECF win.

Lately, they have been churning out some of the best ads for ole Club 1909 feature actor/hockey super fan Jay Baruchel.  This marketing ploy is the cleverest spectacle to come out of a team.

Club 1909 is looking to engage its fans outside its own market and is willing to employ the efforts of their biggest fan, a strong representative to the Montreal hockey fan ethic, to do its bidding.  It works.  It also helps that the Habs twitter team is incredibly interactive with their fans and followers.

King Henrik minding the net. Courtesy of MSG Photos.

The NY Rangers social media team, on the other hand, is not.  Although, they are incredibly informative, they never chirp and rarely interact with their fans. It’s always professional, which is common in NY to be uptight.  However, the Rangers club allows for more real life interactions with the fans at home.

Their marketing efforts are centered around Rangerstown, USA.  Fans can take pictures with the letters whenever they move around the city and receive a premium (paper shields and drinking cups). For the home opener on Sunday against the Maple Leafs, Blueshirts Boulevard was a fun activity where you could take pictures making slap shots or on the Zamboni machine.  Fans in the physical world of New York City, happily came together.

Then there are the twitter rivalries sparked by some serious chirping.  One favorite: the LA Kings and the Edmonton Oilers.
The LA Kings, Stanley Cup champions, reigning gladiators of the ice are also the Kings of Social Media and the Vine.
Yay.  LA Kings.
Speaking of funny, the Dallas Stars bring it at the arena and on social media too.
It’s not whether social media is good or bad.  When it comes down it, you have to ask yourself why these ploys work, why they don’t, why some teams go full social media, why others don’t.
For Montreal, a city so divided that their last Stanley Cup win in 1993 was nestled between two trying political events in their history: the Oka Crisis of 1990 and the 1995 referendum for independence; to reach out to the hockey masses elsewhere is kind of a great thing, almost refreshing.
For New York, a city so fast paced that keeping up with the Rangers for an average fan probably is a two-minute attention keeper between trying subway rides and tourist dodging, providing real life activities to reach out to your fellow Rangers fans is also kind of refreshing.
Social media provides the individual an allowance to connect with one another in a platform we wouldn’t always be allowed.  It tells us that we are not alone, that we know we are not alone.  That’s not always a bad thing because it’s just hockey and it should be fun.


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