Hockey takes to social media to mourn loss of Mike Ilitch

In life, Mike Ilitch never turned his back on the city of Detroit when so many major companies did. In his death we’re seeing the outpouring of love for a man who was much more than just a businessman, philanthropist and owner of two sports franchises.

From those inside of our hockey world, here are just some of the thousands of social media posts that have gone out in remembrance of “Mr. I.”

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Top 10 social media moments of 2016 (Puck Daddy Year in Hockey)

(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.) 

Social media has provided a platform for fellow puck heads to get together to laugh, cry and hurl at their favorite moments from their favorite sport.

Now we look back at the players and team-centric social media happenings that made the biggest impact in 2016.

(Fans will get a separate countdown later in the month. We haven’t forgotten about you Tony X. or those that made John Scott, All-Star happen!)

And away we goooo…

10. Kevin Bieksa as ‘Shovelboy’

During the preseason, the Anaheim Ducks will embed their players throughout Honda Center to engage with the fans. They took it to a different level in 2015 when Ryan Kesler went undercover as a fan during a game.

It was only natural that Kesler’s BFF, Kevin Bieksa, was the next Duck to dress up for a preseason contest.

Through the magic of hair and makeup, Bieksa became ‘Shovelboy.’ He joined the crew that shoveles the ice during TV timeouts and proceeded to annoy is unwitting teammates during and after the game.

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Team Europe’s Gaborik turns into disgruntled Tweeter

After sustaining a foot injury in the semifinal round, Team Europe forward Marian Gaborik hobbled away from the World Cup of Hockey on crutches.

His injury is bad to the point it will keep him out at least eight weeks for the Los Angeles Kings. It also meant he would miss the final series against Team Canada. Perhaps that left him a bit surley.

Gaborik went from hockey player to hockey-fan-spitting-hawt-taeks Twitter in Game 2 of the final.

Like all puck heads, it starts positive.

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It starts to go downhill on a disagreement over a call by the referees.

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Phil Kessel delivers death blow Tweet after USA loss

Just minutes after Team USA let out a big old, wet fart against Team Canada, an American hero took to social media to express his thoughts.

That man is Phil Kessel.

In the immortal words of Mortal Kombat: FINISH HIM.

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BOOM! PHILBERT WITH THE WIN.

That is what the kids refer to nowadays as shade.

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Mystery solved! Why did Tony X, fan sensation, no-show NHL Awards?

LAS VEGAS — Tony X. sprang into popularity this year as the newest fan to the great sport of hockey and more specifically the St. Louis Blues. He was so popular (by NHL standards) that he was asked to attend to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas as a guest of the League.

At 5:19am PT time, Mr. X tweeted out a picture of a Southwest ticket.

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Sources close to the event were under the impression that Tony X’s flight was cancelled. The same sources have been unsuccessful at getting in contact with Tony X today at all. They don’t know if he made it to Vegas.

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Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Best fan reactions on Twitter

Oh fellow puck heads. You never disappoint us.

Right as the Pittsburgh Penguins started shaking off their gloves and mobbing Matt Murray on the ice, the tweets commemorating the night started rolling in. Here are some of our favorites for both the winners and losers.

And we saved the best for last. He may not have won the Conn Smythe, but he’s the MVP of our hearts.

• The most amazing yet at the same time terrifying tweet of the night.

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• Crying Jordan in video form. There are no words.

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Gordie Howe Remembered: Live Blog

[Ed. Note: To quantify the impact Gordie Howe had on hockey in one post is nearly impossible. Instead, we turn to the hockey community to celebrate his life in the wake of his passing. We’ll be updating this post all day as the tributes to Mr. Hockey come in. Post your remembrances of the legend in the comments.]

6:54 p.m. ET —

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6:15 p.m. ET —

Ted Lindsay released a statement on the passing of his friend:

“I was very sad to learn today of the passing of my longtime teammate, and friend, Gordie Howe. Gordie really was the greatest hockey player who ever lived. I was fortunate to play with Gordie for 12 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and I’ve known him for over 70 years. He could do it all in the game to help his team, both offensively and defensively. He earned everything that he accomplished on the ice. 

“Beyond hockey, Colleen and his family meant everything to him. Gordie was larger than life, and he was someone who I thought would live forever. My wife Joanne and I extend our condolences to Gordie’s children — Cathleen, Mark, Marty and Murray — and his entire family and many friends during this time.”

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