Jeff O\'Neill scored 237 goals and 496 points in 821 career NHL games with Hartford, Carolina and Toronto. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
In last week’s THN.com Top 10, we ranked the best active NHLers to follow on Twitter. But there are also retired players who have been bitten by the social media bug. With that in mind, here are the top 10 former NHL players now on Twitter:
10. Chris Nilan (@KnucklesNilan30)
The former Canadiens, Bruins and Rangers right winger has fully embraced the Twittersphere, responding to all fan inquiries and weighing in on important hockey issues when they arise. And his Twitter picture looks exactly like Canadian icon Terry Fox.
Sample Tweet: “In a quick flash I popped over 5000 followers. Figured I would have that many enemies not fans. I guess keep friends close, enemies closer”
9. Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque)
Although he was one of the game’s most intimidating enforcers in his day, Laraque is widely known to be one of the friendliest, gentle guys away from the rink. That comes through loud and clear in his (bilingual) tweets.
Sample Tweet: “I'm in Montreal excited for the gay parade to start at 1pm, which means I'm gay for the day...Lol”
8. Todd Simpson (@ToddSimpson27)
Another former enforcer, Simpson isn’t the most regular tweeter, but when he does post his thoughts, they’re hilarious.
Sample Tweet: “I just read an article today on the dangers of heavy drinking... Scared the hell out of me. So that's it, after today. No more reading.”
7. Theo Fleury (@TheoFleury14)
Fleury was fearless during his fantastic career and pulls no punches on Twitter. He’s as likely to try and promote his extensive charity work as he is to rip into fans who attack him.
Sample Tweet: “We need to pull our heads out of our asses when it comes to the subject of sexual abuse.”
6. Daryl Reaugh (@Razor5hole)
The Dallas Stars TV analyst and former NHL goalie is renowned for his sense of humor, which comes through in spades in his Twitter posts.
Sample Tweet: “Update on my feud with 3 yr old niece: She is relentlessly kicking my arm and giggling. I may retaliate with 'shock&awe' potty-talk barrage.”
5. Jamie McLennan (@JamieMcLennan29)
The veteran backup goalie has quickly and successfully made the transition to the media world, working as an analyst for Canadian network TSN. His lighthearted posts make you realize why his teammates loved having ‘Noodles’ on the roster.
Sample Tweet: “I don't see the big deal everyone is making about 'PLANKING', I’ve been doing it every weekend for years, It’s called Passing out Blind Drunk”
4. Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick)
Roenick was a fantastic ambassador for the game during his career and remains so on Twitter, engaging with fans virtually every day and putting his strong opinions out there for fans to consider.
Sample Tweet: “All u know it all experts make me laugh. I sucked in LA and I'm over it. Think it’s time some of u losers stop living in the past! Lol”
3. Matthew Barnaby (@MattBarnabyESPN)
Barnaby’s active mouth made him no shortage of enemies on the ice, but it’s that quality that makes him such a solid TV analyst for ESPN and TSN and such a must-follow on Twitter.
Sample Tweet: “My take on Kovalev. Flat out the most skilled player I ever played with or watched. Won series by himself at times. Worked very hard on his skill and when motivated was unreal. When things didn't go well - disappeared. To me, might be only 1000 pt guy to be an underachiever.”
2. Aaron Ward (@AaronWard_NHL)
Another former-player-turned-TSN-analyst, Ward provides trenchant hockey observations with a healthy amount of laughter mixed in.
Sample Tweet: “If Zherdev/Kovalev on same line for Atlant of KHL, easy marketing ploy. "The Camouflage Twins": Hidden in D zone, never ever sure they're there!”
1. Jeff O’Neill (@odognine2)
He regularly lit up opposing netminders with his scoring skills and in a very short period of time, O’Neill has lit up his Twitter feed with tons of good-natured chirping with former teammates and players.
Sample Tweet: “I just watched a grown man 5 putt the first green. Not sure of his name but it sounds like Brad May.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.
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