Senators goalies Anderson, Lehner wade into Twitter’s choppy waters

A different kind of goalie battle is brewing in Ottawa.

Senators goalies Anderson, Lehner wade into Twitter’s choppy waters

A different kind of goalie battle is brewing in Ottawa.

On September 28, the Ottawa Senators’ No. 1 netminder for the foreseeable future sent his first Twitter message.

“I posted 2 photos on Facebook in the album “Anderson Goalie School 2011 – Pines Ice Arena” — @CraigAnderson41

Then, on Nov. 2, the team’s goalie of the future weighed in.

“whats up friends and fans ! Happy to finally have a twitter account :) Let the twitter begin!!” — @RobinLehner

Okay, so as far as first messages go, they aren’t “one small step for man” caliber, but hey, Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner are new to this.

Yes, after years of darkness in the Ottawa Senators’ corner of the Twitterverse, there is light. Several players, mostly in the Senators’ AHL system, have decided to give a digital summary of their lives, 140 characters at a time.

Anderson and Lehner are the most intriguing for several reasons. In addition to the fact they’ll soon be competing for ice time here, they’re both pretty unique guys.

As we all know, Lehner doesn’t mince words when talking about where he thinks he should be playing and why. His honesty has surely been curbed by a couple seasons of management whispering in his ear to tone it down, but he still drops a few gems here and there.

Will this be Lehner unleashed, or Lehner the tame, media-savvy self-promoter? Jury’s still out.

Anderson is an interesting dude, too. Take, for example, his reasons for joining Twitter. He wants to stay in touch with fans, promote his hockey school and connection with his students, keep in touch with racing friends (Anderson is a Corvette enthusiast), and…prepare for a life after hockey?

“It’s very important to get yourself out there,” Anderson said after Friday’s morning skate, just over a month into his four-year, $12.75 million contract with the Senators. “You can’t do something unless people know what you’re doing, right?

“Hockey is a short-lived career, but we have a long time after hockey and if I can make some connections and some networking that can make some positive impacts after the career, that’s kind of what I’m looking for.”

Hey, can’t besmirch anyone for having a Plan B, even if money wouldn’t really be an issue for him anyways.

Of course, as another member of the NHL goalie fraternity quickly learned last year, there are pitfalls to avoid on Twitter as well.

Take, for example, the cautionary tale of one Dan Ellis. Now with Anaheim after starting last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ellis used the potential of an NFL lockout as a springboard to opine on the hardships faced by the modern professional athlete. This as the economy was lurching through a recession (with related massive job losses for us Plebs).

Of all the comments Ellis — who had just signed a $3 million deal with the Lightning — made, this was probably the one that did him in: “If you lost 18 per cent of your income would you be happy? I can honestly say I’m more stressed about money now than when I was in college.”

Within a few days, Ellis was done with Twitter. One of the all-time greatest hashtags ever, #DanEllisProblems (example: “@uzworm Just short of enough money to complete my collection of Ferraris in every colour of the rainbow. I’ll wait for you Indigo! #DanEllisProblems”) lives on, however. It’s been used 12 times on Twitter this month.

Anderson wasn’t aware of the Ellis situation, and he’s going about it the right way if his goal is to be corporate-clean and stay out trouble. He said he’s working with the Senators’ PR team to “be smart about it.”

And if you’re a rival fan who wants to chirp him, don’t even bother. Anderson is ready for that too.

“I’ve got a guy that siphons though all the negative stuff and makes sure that I only get the positive stuff,” he said. “I’ve been in this game long enough to know there’s going to be enemies and there’s going to be friends.”

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