The social media community for hockey players and other athletes is thriving in Canada, and that’s a good thing.
That’s because the players are finding their way into online communities, which offer opportunities to network, get advice and connect.
“We have to keep our heads up, and keep our minds open,” said Erik Karlsson, who leads the NHL Players’ Association in a recent interview.
“We need to find a way to keep ourselves in the moment and have fun.”
The success of the online communities for players and the community for the community in general is a result of a combination of factors, said Paul Gaudet, a University of Toronto sociologist who specializes in the social media sphere.
First, there’s the social network.
“There are people from all over the world that can be a real part of it,” he said.
Second, there are the players.
“If you can find a player, you can help them and maybe make it better,” he added.
Third, there is the NHLPA.
“The players have to be a part of this,” said Gaudets associate professor of sociology.
“When you go to the rink, there might be a player on your team who is a friend of yours.
You may want to talk to him about his career, or maybe maybe give him some tips,” said Karlsson.”
You want to find someone to talk about the game with.
You want to connect with people who are interested in hockey,” he continued.
The players and community are connected by a unique set of factors: their personal connections, the presence of other players and teams and their common interests.
“What is different here is that the NHL is not just a player-driven league.
It’s an entire community that is connected by these players and their community,” said Adam Zagor, an assistant professor of sports management at the University of British Columbia.
The NHLPA has been in touch with the NHL to see if the players can work together on issues, including how the players get to and from games and other events.
And they have reached out to the NHL, the league’s players’ union, the players’ association in the U.S. and several other sports.
Gaudet said the NHL’s social media and social media services were the best places to be during the lockout, but the players and players’ unions need to do a better job at keeping the game going and supporting the players during the break.
“There’s a lot of people who would like to play, but they don’t want to have to pay the dues to get there.
And when you play in a game that’s being played in a community that’s supported by the players, that’s the type of community we want,” said Zagors associate professor.
“But the NHL and its players’ associations, like all sports, have to take a real interest in how the community is growing.”