Twitter's usefulness is clear to a lot of people. It's no different for professional hockey players.
“For me personally, I love the news side of it,” Sabres captain Steve Ott (@OtterN9ne) said. “The updates of instant news and in a quick format, too. I love how you can read a few words – almost a sentence – and know what's going on, updates around the NHL or even in world news.”
Though he’s 12 years younger than Ott, Sabres rookie forward Zemgus Girgensons (@zemgus94) gravitates toward the same part of Twitter.
“News, first of all,” Girgensons said.
But there's also a social side.
“Listening to what people say. Messing around, killing some time. Letting people know when something happens in my life,” Girgensons added.
When he was traded to Buffalo in October, Matt Moulson (@MMoulson) brought 55,000 Twitter followers and an active account with him. He now has over 64,000 followers.
“I think it's a great way to get information right away. Get news from exact moments as they happen,” Moulson said.
Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth (@JEnroth125) had a short-and-sweet response fit for Twitter when asked what he finds most useful about the social network.
“Keep myself updated,” he said.
Not every Buffalo Sabre is on Twitter. But every now and then, another player joins the service. That was the case in September when Ryan Miller signed up (@RyanMiller3039).
“I kind of caved in, just to participate in something that's been popular,” Miller said. “I started thinking about how it could help my career, my cause; I've had a foundation for a number of years. I felt I probably wasn't doing enough on the grand scale.”
Miller has come a long way since his first tweet on Sept. 3. He passed the 30,000-follower milestone this past week.
“I'm just trying to have some fun with it,” he said. "Mainly hockey stuff. I've done a few things that touch on my life a little bit, but don't want to get too deep into it. I try to have a little bit of fun but not go too far.”
Who To Follow
One of the greatest questions for anyone on Twitter is who to follow. It dictates your experience and the usefulness of Twitter itself.
You might follow hundreds of accounts. Or maybe you opt for just a few dozen. The players on Twitter have different approaches.
Moulson follows more than 300 accounts, more than any other Sabre. His strategy when thinking about hitting the “follow” button?
“Whatever I find interesting,” he said. “I follow some funny people, news stations, sports. All different things.”
Ott follows 274 accounts.
“I have a little bit of a realm of who I follow,” he said. “Obviously my teammates, and other guys around the League that I've played with before. But also if an account is about facts of life or just fun or interesting stuff that you'd never think of or know.”
For some, Twitter is more personal. Girgensons falls in that category, hinting that there has to be some kind of reciprocal relationship to start following someone.
“You've got to be really close,” he said. “Don't give out follows just like that ...You've got to do something for me.”
Enroth had a similar take, saying he'll follow someone “if I'm interested in that person or if I know them.” His highest priority?
“My friends and family,” he said.
Miller keeps his stream simple.
“It's just mainly guys on the team, guys I'm buddies with throughout the league,” he said.
If you use Twitter enough, you'll likely find yourself enjoying some accounts more than others.
Ott's favorite account is @HockeyFights.
“It's the easiest way without using your computer to watch fights around the League,” he said. “It's quick and easy.”
Girgensons had trouble naming just one account, but he said he's a fan of “those funny ones, those comedy ones.”
“@OMGFacts is probably my favorite right now,” Moulson said without hesitation. “A lot of interesting stuff on there I like to read.”
Enroth gave mention to teammate Christian Ehrhoff (@TheRealHoff10).
“[He’s] pretty funny on Twitter,” Enroth said. “He's fun to follow.”
Miller chose a comedian.
“That Rob Delaney guy is pretty funny. I don't follow him anymore, but I did in the past,” Miller said. “He can be a little crude, not-safe-for-work kind of guy, but he's pretty funny.”
The big question is how often are you on Twitter?
“My wife would say too much,” Ott confessed. “But daily.”
Girgensons didn't shy away from his answer either.
“Every day. Multiple times. Every time I have a chance, I'll check out what's new,” he said.
For Moulson, it's also become a part of his routine.
“A lot,” he said. “Whenever I'm not looking after my kids, I'm probably on there looking at news and interesting things.”
Enroth? “I'm on it every day.”
Only the newest member of the Sabres Twitter family had a different take.
“Here and there,” Miller said.
Is there an ideal time to check Twitter?
“After practice,” Moulson said. “I feel like a lot of things happen while we're practicing. It's nice to see what's going on in the world after you're on the ice, maybe not too reliant on technology.”
Girgensons finds Twitter the perfect way to unwind. “Probably before bed; before I go to sleep.”
Enroth opts for downtime. "Probably during lunch or during relaxing time," he said.
“I don't think there's much of a pattern” Miller says about when he uses Twitter. He'll hop on now and then.
While Miller may check Twitter more sporadically, for Ott, it's a part of his morning and night rituals.
“I like to go through it all at nighttime before going to bed or in the morning when I wake up, I kind of go through a quick scroll as well," he said.
Here's an updated list of current Buffalo Sabres players on Twitter:
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