September 13, 2011
It's always a little depressing when NHL teams undervalue the relationships their players build through social media, muzzling them with draconian rules against its use. But to each franchise its own.
The Philadelphia Flyers have prolific and popular players on Twitter like Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) (@bryzgoalie30), Matt Carle(notes) (@mattcarle25) and James van Riemsdyk(notes) (@JVReemer21). But they also plan on having some rules this season on when those players can spread their whimsy on the Interwebz.
While the National Hockey League has yet to set a policy regarding social media — leaving such rules and regulations to individual teams — the Flyers are going to make it clear to their players that tweeting and texting during "business hours'' will be out of bounds.
Not a good idea, according to general manager Paul Holmgren. "Zac got in trouble," Holmgren explained on Tuesday at the Skate Zone. "That's team business. But a lot of time, they don't know. We'll set the record straight."
Holmgren said he didn't want players "tweeting about what they had for breakfast" when they should be focused on the ice, but c'mon now: Like any other NHL general manager, what he really doesn't want are his players giving opponents an alleged strategic advantage by tweeting some innocuous gameday information.
It's no different than when Mike McKenna(notes) was chased from Twitter after announcing his call-up to the New Jersey Devils via social media. Teams guard information like J.J. Abrams guards plot spoilers.
They see a leak, they plug it. Too bad it also deprives us of the frivolity that makes up 90 percent of NHL players' Twitter feeds. God forbid Ilya Bryzgalov tweet this three hours before puck-drop: