Newspaper article The Canadian Press

P.K. Subban and Montreal Canadiens Tops on Twitter at Midway Point of NHL Season

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

P.K. Subban and Montreal Canadiens Tops on Twitter at Midway Point of NHL Season

Article excerpt

Subban, Canadiens tops in Twitterverse

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TORONTO - It's all about that personal touch when it comes to the NHL and Twitter.

Canadian hockey fans are more interested in the off-ice activities of their favourite players than they are the NHL teams they play according to new data released by Twitter on Thursday morning.

The social network compiled the top 10 tweets by players on Canadian NHL teams, the most popular NHL teams by mentions and retweets and other data to mark the halfway point of the hockey season. The information collected makes it clear: fans care about the personal lives of players like Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban, but turn to the official team accounts for info on the games themselves.

"Good results are going to get more hits, yes, but there are many ways to find out what the score is or stats on your favourite player," said Mike Naraine, a faculty member and PhD candidate in sport management at the University of Ottawa who specializes in social media. "But adding that extra piece is invaluable to creating that buzz and engaging fans. Whether it's the teams adding pictures and videos or the players talking about their personal lives and talking about their off-ice activities, those are the types of things that people want to see."

Subban's tweet of a video where he and sponsor Air Canada created a winter wonderland for patients at Montreal's Children's Hospital was shared more than 11,000 times. That was more than five times as many retweets as the second most popular tweet -- Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Prust calling out New Jersey Devils forward Bobby Farnham for grandstanding after a fight.

Prust's was the only tweet directly related to an NHL game cracked the top 10. Otherwise, it was all off-the-ice activity that caught fans' attention, like Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson paying his respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on the anniversary of his death, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri supporting the Toronto Blue Jays in their post-season push, or Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau tweeting about his and his teammates' love of the reality show the Bachelor. …

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