Off-season news is scant between the opening of NHL free agency and the start of training camp. It is more of a surprise that there was news on consecutive days for the San Jose Sharks than that both were via social media. The team site carried a piece about players joining the Ice Bucket Challenge (#ALSIceBucketChallenge) driven by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Monday, Aug. 18.
An update to the piece included coach Todd McLellan joining because of a Marc-Edouard Vlasic challenge Sunday, followed by Patrick Marleau on Tuesday. Those were after challenges accepted by Brent Burns, Logan Couture, James Sheppard, Alex Stalock, Jason Demers, Matt Nieto, Matt Tennyson, and several players fighting to make San Jose's roster in the 2014-15 NHL season.
The move to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis has allowed the ALS Association to raise almost eight times as much as was raised since July 29 last year, according to a New York Times article Sunday cited by both TMZ and Seven Sees. Often called Lou Gehrig's disease after its most famous early sufferer, it eventually causes paralysis and death within five years.
The article also explains the origin of the challenge, including that most people not only dump the bucket on their heads within the 24-hour window but also donate the $100 in the challenge to the charity. Many celebrities are donating larger sums, but the ALS Association reports of 260,000 new members suggests many smaller donations raised by the awareness campaign.
Thus, having the Sharks joining the wave of social support was no surprise. The social media shock was that the challenge helped get former assistant coach and color commentator Drew Remenda to join Twitter Sunday.
One of his first tweets thanked San Jose fans Sunday. To many loyalists, the loss of Remenda headlines a series of unpopular off-season moves in 2014. Judging by his tweet, he does not think his passion, wit, chemistry with Randy Hahn and knowledge in and out of hockey are worthy of the love he gets from fans:
To all the Shark fans that have been so good to me. I don't know what I did to deserve it but I Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Not only will someone have to fill his shoes in the booth, but someone new will have to man the hot dog cooker available to the media. Remenda was very particular about frankfurters being spread in a symmetrical and ordered pattern, and Examiner found out he preferred not to have others assist him in his effort.
Was it harder to put down the microphone or the hot dog tongs, Drew? Too bad San Jose had to lose you for your rejection of Twitter to end. It was not worth it to lose you from our team so the social media site could gain you, but best of luck.