Twitter’s 50 must-follows for NHL fans

Joffrey Lupul is a crucial part of the team's success moving forward. (Getty)

It is as if Twitter was made for hockey debate and hockey jokes, breaking trades and goofy gifs.

Players, reporters, analysts, bloggers, fans, nerds (and, don’t kid yourself, there is crossover between all of these groups) thrive on the hockey head’s timeline.

We decided to help you round out your follows for the NHL’s 2014-15 season, a mix of newsbreakers, keen observers, jokers and guys who know what they’re talking about because — guess what, basement dweller? — they’ve actually played the game.

Surely you’re already following a few of these tweeters, but there are some on here you might want to give a whirl.

Note 1: We steered clear of beat writers. There are too many awesome ones to list. And if, say, you’re a Minnesota Wild fan not already following @Russostrib, you’re doing it wrong.

Note 2: If you notice a Canadian bias and/or a Sportsnet bias here, it’s because the Kool-Aid is delicious and employment is fun.

Note 3: These are listed in no particular order. There are more than 50 hockey tweeters worth reading. This will simply give you a head start.

Without further ado, our 50 NHL must-follows…

Roberto Luongo (@Strombone1)
Followers: 379K
Sunshine State of mind.
Strombone on Twitter: “To all of you that drafted me on their fantasy hockey teams, rest assured,I’ve been working on some new techniques…”
Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) Followers: 580K Retweets his own hate mail. Trolls Phil Kessel in the most hilarious way possible. Paul Bissonnette on Twitter: “Send me your address @TroyFromWytRock. I’ll mail you my per diem from camp so you can pay your mortgage. #LowLife”

Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul)
Followers: 277K
Look! An NHL player unafraid to express opinions beyond “pucks in deep.”
Joffrey Lupul on Twitter: “Better ball game. Someone tell me why the NHL doesn’t have a playoff between the 8th and 9th seeds. Anyone?”

Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper)
Followers: 217K
Sportsnet insider. Cup winner. Greek deity prospect.
Nick Kypreos on Twitter: “Hearing as many as 7 teams interested in #Blackhawks D Nick Leddy. Chic needs to alleviate #NHL cap space. Looking for a prospect in return.”

Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC)
Followers: 448K
Canadian icon. Snappy dresser. Dictator of glorious, multi-part Twitter rants.
Don Cherry on Twitter: “I was cleaning out my shed and all of a sudden I felt two sharp bites on the back of my neck. I look over in the corner and there is a great”
Don Cherry on Twitter: “big bees nest so I ran out of the place! I went and bought some spray and went back in and sprayed like crazy 3 or 4 times figuring that”

Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC)
Followers: 178K
Nice guy. Tries hard. Breaks news.
Elliotte Friedman on Twitter: “Hearing MLSE president/CEO Tim Leiweke will be leaving the company soon. (1/2)”

Boring Sean Monahan (@BoringMonahan)
Followers: 42.5K
The joke that keeps on giving. “When that came out, the boys gave it to Monny a bit. He’s not [boring] at all. I don’t know how it all came about, but I sure got a kick out of it,” Flames defenceman Kris Russell told me this week. “It definitely had us laughing in the room.”
Boring Sean Monahan on Twitter: “I told Sam Bennett to make sure he ties his skates tight before he plays his first game and he said he would.”

Ryan Whitney (@RyanWhitney6)
Followers: 113K
Defenceman with offensive capabilities.
Ryan Whitney on Twitter: “Any guy who is currently dating or married to one of Jeter’s ex girlfriends knows deep down she is missing #2 tonight…Including Timberlake”

Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger)
Followers: 590K
Insider. Dreger Face patent-holder.
Darren Dreger on Twitter: “Krug and Smith will command more $ next season, plus Hamilton extension discussions already in early stages.”

Greg Wyshynski (@Wyshynski)
Followers: 115K
Godfather of the hockey blogosphere.
Greg Wyshynski on Twitter: “”YEAH! Let’s go out there and get ’em boys! Uh, er, where’s Horts and Boone?” – Ryan Johansen, probably.”
Cap Geek (@CapGeek) Followers: 104K Contract details and salary cap implications. CapGeek on Twitter: “Both Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival had options on July 1 to submit 10-team no-trade lists for 2014-15 season. #Blackhawks #NHL”

Renaud Lavoie (@ReLavoieTVA)
Followers: 96.6K
Scoops from La Belle Province.
Renaud Lavoie on Twitter: “#canucks traded Roberto Luongo to Panthers.”
Not Dany Heatley (@DanyAllStar15) Followers: 172K Remembering 2007 since 2007. not Dany Heatley on Twitter: “Yeah, correct me if I’m wrong the last time I checked which was just now derek jeter didn’t have 50 goals in the year of 2007”

Andrew Ference (@Ferknuckle)
Followers : 105K
Cool dad. Oilers captain. Believer in good things.
Andrew Ference on Twitter: “Did Barbie really need to join forces with a fairy, mermaid and a unicorn to grab my 5 year old’s attention?!”

NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety)
Followers: 53.3K
How many games did he get?
NHL Player Safety on Twitter: “Rangers’ John Moore suspended for an Illegal Check to the Head of Canadiens’ Dale Weise. Video:”

Chris Johnston (@ReporterChris)
Followers: 45.4K
The Next One.
Chris Johnston on Twitter: “Sportsnet Exclusive: #flames were in danger of losing picks AND O’Reilly if #avs didn’t match offer sheet…”

Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown)
Followers: 82.2K
Mashes humour with insight for Grantland. Likes the Maple Leafs anyway.
Down Goes Brown on Twitter: “Am I a bad parent if I think that William Nylander looks more adorable than either of one of my kids?”

Patrick Burke (@BurkieYCP)
Followers: 20.1K
President of You Can Play. Director of NHL Player Safety. Aware of Dad’s hairdo.
Patrick Burke on Twitter: “One of the WWE stage skills/mic trainers told me I could work a WWE mic any time. Almost left hockey to be the next Paul Bearer.”

Los Angeles Kings (@LA Kings)
Followers: 465K
The champs are here. First team Twitter account to flex personality.
LA Kings on Twitter: “To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you’re welcome.”

Damien Cox (@DamoSpin)
Followers: 58.3K
Sportnet columnist and broadcaster. Strong opinions. Beware of tennis tweets.
Damien Cox on Twitter: “Hoping with all that’s happening around the world we can all tone down our use of calling hockey players “warriors.””

Kyle Dubas (@KyleDubas)
Followers: 17.5K
Assistant GM of Maple Leafs. President and COO of the analytics movement.
Kyle Dubas on Twitter: “”Success isn’t owned, it’s leased & rent is due everyday.” That quote & more great stuff from J.J. Watt @theMMQB″

Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun)
Followers: 369K
ESPN/TSN insider. Maker of many a phone call.
Pierre LeBrun on Twitter: “With Sabres owning Isles’ first-round pick, can’t blame Garth Snow for today’s pair of pick-ups. No other option but to make playoffs”

The Royal Half (@TheRoyalHalf)
Followers: 13.7K
Man-crushing on the Kings. Voted Most Likely to Tweet Something that Makes Me Cry Laughing.
The Royal Half on Twitter: “Sorry, PK Subban, but If I wanted to watch a hockey player crap their pants, I’d just put them up 3-0 against the LA Kings.”

Mike Johnson (@Mike_P_Johnson)
Followers: 39.5K
Frequently mistaken for the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike Johnson on Twitter: “Watched @hockeynight with my Dad growing up, lucky to play on Saturday nights in NHL and now getting to call my first game. Exciting day!”

Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie)
Followers: 797K
Father of Sportsnet’s own Shawn McKenzie
Bob McKenzie on Twitter: “I can see it being 33-team league, with SEA, Las Vegas and QC in. I don’t think NHL is hung up on round number. Put me down for 33. #thnlive”

Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno)
Followers: 14.2K
American covering hockey – extremely well — for Canadian Press.
Stephen Whyno on Twitter: “#Bruins Milan Lucic (one part of apology): “I’m obviously not proud of what I did there. … Apologies for my actions. I regret what I did.””

James Mirtle (@Mirtle)
Followers: 61.9K
Hockey writer for The Globe and Mail. Enjoys math. Watches the games.
James Mirtle on Twitter: “Brandon Kozun on wearing No. 67 for the Leafs: “To be honest right now I’m not going to complain about anything.””

Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30)
Followers: 397K
New York Ranger. Handsome devil. Class act.
Henrik Lundqvist on Twitter: “2 days in, it feels good to have the adrenalin back in my body! #HockeyIsBack”

Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek)
Followers: 75.4K
Possibly knows more about hockey than other 49 on this list combined. Definitely knows more about wrestling.
Jeff Marek on Twitter: “Want an underdog story? – ‘A’ level hockey growing up, 3 years OJHL, Lake State, ECHL, AHL and on the Oilers starting roster – Will Acton”

Kukla’s Korner (@KuklasKorner)
Followers: 23.9K
Aggregator on andro.
Kukla’s Korner on Twitter: “Martin Brodeur Wants One More Chance: from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, “The last two seasons have been hard,”…”

Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec)
Followers: 53K
Senior columnist for West Coast bias.
Mark Spector on Twitter: “Last year EDM named 6 Alternate Captains. Many (read: we) thought that was dumb then. This year? Two A’s. Lessons learned.”

Dmitry Chesnokov (@DChesnokov)
Followers: 38.5K
Your connection to Russia.
Dmitry Chesnokov on Twitter: “How quickly they fall… Former #Habs and #Preds forward Andrei Kostitsyn has been waived by his #KHL club Traktor.”

Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA)
Followers: 22.3K
Connected. Bilingual. Habs reporter with league-wide perspective.
Louis Jean on Twitter: “Sources say Ryan Kesler requested a trade some time ago & wants out of Vcr. Told #Canucks don’t want to trade him but may not have a choice.”

Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick)
Followers: 232K

Leaves it all out there.
Jeremy Roenick on Twitter: “Guess Hiller will be looking for a new home next yr”

Phil Kessel (@PKessel81)
Followers: 227K
Tweeted 10 times maybe all summer.
Phil Kessel on Twitter: “Wow what a crazy soccer game”

Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes)
Followers: 176K
NHL goalie turned analyst.
Kevin Weekes on Twitter: “Just in touch w @NHLBruins Krug -he understands teams’ cap,wanted to be w teammates,time to prepare.Focused on strength for explosiveness…”

Philip Pritchard (@KeeperOfTheCup)
Followers: 59.3K
Goes through more white gloves than the Queen. Follows Stanley Cup all summer.
Philip Pritchard on Twitter: “#stanleycup and Al Michaels @HockeyHallFame @NHL @lakingspr @ NBC sports”

Craig Custance (@CraigCustance)
Followers: 37.3K
Fantastic ESPN reporter. Sends links to articles you might have to pay to read.
Craig Custance on Twitter: “Asked 15 GMs, coaches etc. to rate 30 starting goalies on scale of 1 to 5. Here are the full, sorted results: [In]”

John Shannon (@JSportsnet)
Followers: 56.5K
Underrated scoop-getter. Watches Coyotes ownership situation like a hawk.
John Shannon on Twitter: “The return of the NHL means the return of the JS Blog: . Enjoy!”

Jeff O’Neill (@ODogNine2)
Followers: 56K

Analysis with irreverence.
Jeff O’Neill on Twitter: “First time for me saying this. Well done Garth Snow. #partyon”

Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis)
Followers: 10.3K
Provider of insight. Makes fancy stats easier to understand.
Jonathan Willis on Twitter: “No Jeff Skinner, no Jordan Staal. If Khudobin struggles the #Canes could really give the #Sabres a run for McDavid.”

Alex Ovechkin (@Ovi8)
Followers: 882K
Even better if you can read Russian.
Alex Ovechkin on Twitter: “What is love?????can u tell me?!?!?))))hahaha”

Darren Pang (@Panger40)
Followers: 130K
Usually shorter than 140 characters.
Darren R Pang on Twitter: “This is good stuff. Oh Canada!”

Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN)
Followers: 58K
Ace reporter. Specializes in New York-area clubs, but not in the Stefon way.
Katie Strang on Twitter: “Huge blow for the Rangers to lose top-line center Derek Stepan to a broken leg. Depth down the middle already a concern for the club”

Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo)
Followers: 43.9K
NHL writer for Bleacher Report. Funny dude.
Dave Dying Penniless on Twitter: “My problem with Beast Mode is it lacks specificity. Is the beast a bear or hamster? Because I will tackle the hell out of a hamster.”

Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey)
Followers: 4K
Religiously stays up on all NHL minutiae. Catches stuff you’ll miss.
Chris Nichols on Twitter: “Friedman: Another player asked me, ‘Have you heard Nathan Horton will never play again?’ #CBJ”

Rich Clune (@RichCluneShow)
Followers: 16.7K
Nashville Predator. Tweets his mind.
Rich Clune on Twitter: “Nashville- music, great food, great people, gorgeous women & no state income tax. It would take common sense to figure that out though kids.”

Hockey Central (@SNHockeyCentral) Followers: 32.7K Provider of news. Broadcaster of 500-plus games. Unafraid of a shameless plug. Hockey Central on Twitter: “Vancouver Canucks place goaltender Jacob Markstrom on waivers @Sportsnet”

Krys Barch (@KrysBarch)
Followers: 14.2K
*Pours bottle of port*
Krys Barch on Twitter: “Bollig, Bouma, McGrattan. Good luck NHL fourth lines!!!! My advice to them is target the Stars!!!”
Chris Boyle (@ChrisBoyle) Followers: 1.7K Student of goaltenders and save trends. Chris Boyle on Twitter: “Expected save percentage based on location and league averages. #SQP #Bernier #Reimer”

George Stroumboulopoulous (@Strombo)
Followers: 528K
Host of Hockey Night in Canada
Stroumboulopoulos on Twitter: “Rehearsals are now known as practice. The penultimate day. #Canada #hockey”

Ilya Bryzgalov (@BryzGoalie30) Followers: 147K Hasn’t tweeted since May 9, 2013. And so we wait… bryzgoalie30 on Twitter: “Why Canadians so aggressive on twitter”

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