Sami Lepisto was just trying to help Viktor Stalberg out a little bit.
The Blackhawks defenseman had dinner at Stalbergs home one night this fall and let Twitter followers know about Stalbergs stellar domestic abilities. And, Lepisto added in his tweet, Ladies he is single!!
From time to time you have to do something like that, Lepisto said with a smile.
Stalberg did get a laugh and an immediate spike in his followers.
I dont think it boosted (my personal life) but I did get a lot of hits that day, thats for sure, he said. A lot of guys are against (Twitter) but its a fun way to keep in touch with fans; especially for guy like me whos not in the center of the media stitch every day like (Jonathan) Toews and others. Obviously we cant say everything on there, but its a fun way to keep in touch.
Welcome to the world of Twitter, which up until this season featured very few Blackhawks. But between veterans and newly acquired players, more Chicago players have entered the social-media world. Their reasons for joining or quitting are as different as their individual personalities:
Patrick Sharp joined Twitter in March, just as the Blackhawks got to Washington D.C. to play the Capitals and visit the White House. As expected, the right wing got a lot of followers in no time.
Sharps first tweet came when the Blackhawks visited the Walter Reed Army Medical Center on that D.C. visit. It would be his only tweet. In hindsight, Sharp said his timing may not have been the best.
I didnt think in March, near the playoffs, was a good time to do that, Sharp said. It exploded there one night in Washington. I was getting a lot of messages and felt I had a lot of responsibility and I wasnt ready for that.
Sharp said there is an invasive side to it, too.
Probably the issue I had is Im all for fan interaction and I love talking to and meeting different fans. But I dont like the idea of having a bad game and hearing about it from 15,000 different people, said Sharp, who added that he may try Twitter again in the future. But there are two sides to every coin. Those negatives are outweighed by maybe having some fun with it.
Patrick Kane is the latest of the Blackhawks to join. His account was confirmed after the Blackhawks final preseason home game on Sept. 29. When Kane went to sleep that night, he said he had about 4,000 followers. By the next morning, he had nearly 20,000.
Pretty crazy, Kane said. The numbers are almost kind of scary and make you cringe a little bit.
Kane, who now has more than 60,000 followers, doesnt tweet often; the last entry on his account was Nov. 19, his birthday. But he nevertheless appreciates the fan response.
Its pretty cool way to interact with the fans, he said. I could probably get better at it. Sometimes Im thinking about so many other things I dont pay attention to it. But it can be used for pretty good reasons.
When defenseman Steve Montador joined Twitter a few months ago he wasnt keeping close check on how many folks started to follow him. But his sister did. So she bet him he couldnt get so many followers in a set amount of time. When Montador reached the first number she bet, she upped the numbers.
She said, Well, get 10,000 by the end of the week. I actually got there now so I should chirp her, Montador said. I didnt impress her enough in the week.
For Montador, Twitter is more of a promotional tool for team or personal causes. He wont get too personal.
Im a little more private than Twitter typically allows for, so for the most part its something Ill keep on the professional side, he said. But I do appreciate the following and the people who respond. Its fun to follow friends and people in the business and what not. Its unique that you can connect that way.
Its always easier to join a group when you know one of the top guys in it. Thats how it was for Jamal Mayers, who has a friend in the executive ranks of Twitter. He told Mayers how it all worked, got the Blackhawks forward verified in a matter of days and explained how Twitter was a safe social-media option.
Its not like any of those other things where people can directly contact you necessarily. That safety helps, said Mayers. Obviously you have to be aware of what youre writing. Its definitely far-reaching; it has an effect on you, the organization and your family. So you have to be aware of what youre writing.
When youre an outspoken individual, Twitter can be dangerous territory. Daniel Carcillo is certainly one of those guys, and hes very careful to walk that line between having fun and tweeting TMI.
When I first got it, it was a little overwhelming. Im pretty outspoken, and on that you have to think three or four times before you write it, Carcillo said. So it wasnt a good fit in the beginning and so you live and learn.
Carcillos done that. Hes used Twitter for fun making fun of Kanes mustache, or lack thereof, during Movember and for his interests such as his friends T-shirt company, jaktapparel.com, and his new radio show on WGN.
Its kind of just building your own name and getting it out there, outside of hockey if you have other interests, he said. You can see the advantages to it.