Another small summer Twitter tempest has erupted among the most ardent of Jets Nation, this time concerning team captain Andrew Ladd.
Ladd said he did favourite a tweet on Monday by accident, one posted overnight Monday by a Jets fan critical the off-season the NHL team is having. When the matter was pointed out to him, Ladd said he quickly unfavourited the tweet by @sliiiiip that said "I just found a video that sums up the #NHLJets offseason magnificently!" It links to a YouTube video showing a picture of wrestling maven Bryan Alvarez yelling "minus five stars" for a full 10 minutes.
Ladd, who spoke to the Free Press this afternoon, said he had looked at Twitter just before going for his daily workout and didn’t realize what he’d done until contacted by the Jets communications staff.
"I didn’t even look at (the video)," Ladd said. "I didn’t think I had favourited it but I checked and I guess I accidentally favourited it so I unfavourited it and I went back to working out.
"I understand that people might make a big deal about it or talk about it. It’s a pretty dead time of year and that’s what happens when you play hockey in Canada and in a market like Winnipeg. I’ll have a chuckle about it and hopefully everyone can just laugh and move on."
Ladd is somewhat active on Twitter but he’s not a serial user.
"I check it," he said. "If I’m bored I’ll just mess around with it and check things out but I don’t use it a whole lot."
With the Jets’ off-season activity, or lack of it, the subject of today’s accident and a hot topic for many Jets fans this summer, Ladd was asked for his take on the team’s approach since last April.
"I think (Mathieu) Perreault is going to add a lot to our third line," Ladd said of the centre who was signed by the team as a free agent on July 1. "Olli (Jokinen, now in Nashville) did a great job the last couple of years but we needed to someone to fill that void and we got a young kid that’s probably looking for a little more opportunity, too, and that’s always exciting to add a guy like that.
"Beyond that I think that the way we finished at the end of the year, and I know we tried to do more in free agency, I think if anyone watched the last 10 or 15 games, we were a completely different team than we were at the start of the year. Maybe our record didn’t indicate it but there were a lot of games where we should have won but didn’t because we didn’t put the puck in the net."
Ladd suggested that those who are concerned with the lack of wholesale changes on the Jets roster this summer are selling short the new energy the team experienced under head coach Paul Maurice, who took over last January.
"I think there was a new confidence just having Paul in there and looking at teammates’ confidence in him and what we can do playing that way," Ladd said. "But we didn’t make the playoffs either and at the end of the day, it’s up to the players in the off-season to use that time in the right way to get better and stronger and use it in different ways to try to help the team because inevitably, it’s out of our control what those off-season moves are anyway."
Today’s incident has some similarities to one in June, just before the NHL’s entry draft, when trade speculation was rampant and Jets left-winger Evander Kane favourited a tweet, then unfavourited it later in the day. The tweet in question was from a Philadelphia Flyers fan endorsing the idea that Flyers GM Ron Hextall should trade for Kane.