The person behind a popular hockey rumor Twitter account has refuted claims identifying the tipster as a 17-year-old high schooler.
In criticizing @HockeyyInsiderr for being “often wrong, cocky and arrogant,” Ontario Junior A Hockey League scout Jonathan Kyriacou suggested that the account belonged to a young man in the Montreal area. While he didn’t give the person’s name, Deadspin identified the user, which has 32,202 followers, as someone named Alex D., an apparent "self-employed freelance writer."
In their Twitter bio, the user claims to have worked for four NHL teams and boasts of having “many contacts within the league.” Indeed, the person behind the account claimed there’s no truth to Kyriacou’s and Deadspin’s claims about his identity.
“First of all I'd like to start by saying there is absolutely zero truth about the Deadspin article,” Hockeyy Insiderr told the Daily Dot. “I am not the 17-year-old kid he links me to (based only on the fact someone with AD initials befriended me on Facebook? Come on that's just poor research!).”
Deadspin took Hockeyy Insiderr to task, pointing out numerous occasions where he reported NHL trade rumors which have not come to pass. Yet that’s all part of the sports reporting game, especially in the NHL, which Hockeyy Insiderr says is a “constantly changing environment” where “negotiations are accepted, refused and modified every day.”
Apparently far from being a 17-year-old Quebecer who’s only played minor league hockey, Hockeyy Insiderr claims to have strong contacts within the NHL. He claimed the rumors he tweets “come from various sources within the NHL. Most are players’ agents. A large part are actual players. Few are upper management guys.”
He added that: “All of the rumors I post are accurate. I simply report what I hear from NHL sources. But not all come to fruition. This way people get to know what happens and what could have happened and almost did.”
Hockeyy Insiderr was also criticized for having several thousand bogus followers—some Twitter users opt to purchase extra followers to make them appear more popular and influential. However, much like Kernel Editor-in-Chief Milo Yiannopoulos, it appears another person bought those accounts on the behalf of Hockeyy Insiderr, who took action to remove the spam bots from the follower list.
“I have never purchased any fake followers. At some point, someone has added 22K spam bots on my follower list,” he told us. “I take the time to report and remove some every day (removed about 5K so far).”
The user tweeted Thursday that all the spam bots have been removed.
Deadspin also pointed out that most reporters like to take credit for their work, and as such use their real names instead of hiding behind a pen names or pseudonyms like Hockeyy Insiderr, Obnoxious Sports Fan, and countless other sports writers, journalists and reporters. (It’s not like Deadspin publishes stories based on anonymous tipsters or anything.)
Hockeyy Insiderr said there’s a strong reason for wanting to remain anonymous, however: his family.
My wife has seen me go through several struggles in my life, especially regarding my NHL related career. Don't know how she would react if she found out I am the man behind "Hockeyy Insiderr". Also, trying to maintain my private life out of the spotlight is a good thing for me right now. Most of my sources don't know I am Hockeyy Insiderr. If they did they wouldn't share their info anymore. I'm satisfied remaining anonymous and just sharing behind the scenes info with the fans.
Photo by Rhys Asplundh