It’s been just over a month since the Sabres’ season officially ended – how are you coping with the offseason? As the playoffs continue, many fans turn to the playoffs or watching other sports to fill that void. One way, however, to stay connected through this rough time until September’s training camp is to follow the Sabres – and related individuals – on Twitter.
Sabres on Twitter
There’s a few Sabres players on Twitter, so this is a great place to start your offseason.
Nathan Gerbe (@NathanGerbe42) is perhaps one of my favorites on the social networking site. His interaction with fans is great, and he occasionally opens up an e-mail account to receive questions from fans, which he’ll then respond to via e-mail. Following him, you’ll see some vacation photos – yesterday, he detailed his experiences visiting Pearl Harbor – and lots of inspirational quotes. His infamous hashtag, #begreat or #begreat42, is one that’s spread a bit through the Buffalo Twittersphere. Also a great point of following him: photos and stories of his mini-stick competitions with Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson.
Derek Roy (@Roy9ner) is the only other Sabres forward on Twitter right now. Roy also uses the site to connect with fans, but perhaps not as extensively as Gerbe does; he’ll RT a lot, though. Food and vacation tweets, game-related blurbs and photos are just a few of the golden nuggets of wisdom you’ll get there. Roy also uses Twitter to promote his partnership with Vitamin Water and GongshowGear. His snarky correction to the NHL’s official Twitter feed when they misspelled Sabres as ‘Sabers’ is perhaps one of the best things that’s ever come out of his account.
Swedish youngster goalie Jhonas Enroth (@JEnroth125) is also on Twitter. He’ll tweet during the season, but his off-season posts have also been quite entertaining so far. From his trips across Europe to his homeland and other countries, to beginning his ‘broadcasting career’ and playing in the IIHF World Championships, Enroth is a good one to follow. He’ll occasionally do Q&A sessions with fans, posts hilarious photos of himself in front of his mural at the First Niagara Center, and really uses Twitter to show off his seemingly-fun personality.
Amerks on Twitter
There’s QUITE a few members of the Rochester Americans organization on Twitter, so get ready for this.
Marcus Foligno (@marcusfoligno), Corey Tropp (@CTropp25) and Luke Adam (@LukeJAdam) are all part of the Twitter world. Foligno tends to focus on hockey, but some unrelated posts pop up once in a while – like one from April 14th about the grand opening of a Ted’s Hot Dogs in Buffalo. He uses hashtags a lot, posts photos on occasion, and retweets a lot. Expect some tweets about the Sudbury Wolves, his junior hockey team. He’s a good one to follow, especially with his time up in the NHL this year. Tropp’s Tweets during the season focused mainly on the Amerks and their travels, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be giving it up for the summer. Baseball tweets may follow – so get ready. Lastly, Adam stayed off the site during the playoffs, but he’s back for the summer and tweeting about GongshowGear, the NHL playoffs and his offseason travels.
Brayden McNabb (@nabber03), Travis Turnbull (@travisturnbull9) and Phil Varone (@pvarone22) are three more Amerks that use Twitter fairly well. McNabb hasn’t posted a whole lot since the season ended, but it’s worth a follow. Turnbull might be my favorite on the site – he posts photos, quotes, vacation snippets, hockey-related messages, retweets, etc. It seems like he’s back in Missouri for the summer, but Twitter’s a great way to stay connected. Varone’s also a great tweeter, and he seems to put a bit of a personal spin on things, including his reactions to the racial slurs posted about Joel Ward a bit ago. His photos of the Amerks sleeping on their bus and the messages between the Amerks are perhaps some of the greatest things to get one through the offseason.
To continue: Alex Biega (@abiega4), Shawn Szydlowski (@Szydlowski19), Derek Whitmore (@dwhitemore21) and Jacob Lagace (@JLagace83) are also great follows. Amerks players Jon Parker (@JonParker24) and Corey Fienhage (@CoreyFienhage), who both saw time in the ECHL this past season, are two up-and-comers with great personalities that shine through their online presence.
Other Sabres prospects on Twitter include Riley Boychuk (@Boychuk91), Dan Catenacci (@DanCatenacci) and recently signed goaltender Connor Knapp (@knapper311). Niagara Ice Dogs player Steven Shipley – currently in the OHL Finals – is also on Twitter and can be found at @Shipley92.
Lastly: If you don’t follow the official Sabres’ Twitter – what are you waiting for?!?!
The offseason won’t be an easy one (it never is), but you won’t regret following the players on Twitter. It’s a great way to stay connected and help you push through this rough time till training camp begins in September. One word of warning, however: be wary. There’s plenty of parody or fake accounts out there. All the ones listed above are verified, but it’s easy to be misled into believing a player is on Twitter when he isn’t (see: Sidney Crosby).
Have fun – and be responsible. Like any Internet usage, THINK before you speak. Is it something you’d be willing to say to the player face-to-face? If the answer is no, don’t press send – and this goes for Sabres, Amerks, and anyone else. If you don’t like a player, don’t follow him. Twitter for athletes is about connecting and showing support from the fans. As the saying goes: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.