While former Anaheim Ducks top prospect (and current Edmonton Oiler) Justin Schultz was utilizing a CBA “loophole” to free up his own bargaining rights, escape Anaheim, and shop for a new NHL team to call home (in a way many considered to illustrate a “rookie diva complex“), his once-active Twitter account (@6schultz6) went quiet. Likely aware of the backlash waiting for him there from Ducks fans and other hockey fans who felt that the unproven rookie was handling the situation poorly, his account remained inactive during the Schultz Watch affair with his last tweet being posted on May 22.
But just a few days after signing with Edmonton, after the dust had seemingly settled, Schultz made his twitter return on June 6th, the young star’s birthday.
But apparently the dust had not settled. Among the birthday wishes and Edmonton welcomes, there was a storm of resentment waiting for Schultz. Regardless of your take on the situation and how you feel about the player, the results were, at the very least, entertaining. I’ve collected some of the tweets here for your amusement. The Fansided network looks down on obscenity, so I’ve censored many of these for those with more delicate sensibilities, but the points still come across.
Right from the start, his reception didn’t look to be going all that well.
And in case for some reason Schultz wasn’t aware of just why it was that he was getting some social network heat, some fans were happy to spell it out for him.
Some took it as an opportunity to prognosticate on Schultz’s future.
Others figured that Schultz might be interested in their thoughts on his first visit to the Honda Center.
Some wondered aloud whether perhaps there was some connection between Schultz and his, er, genital situation…
… or perhaps just a “bravery” issue:
There were a few fans who apparently had already forgotten all about him.
Sometimes you don’t have to go the eloquent route.
And wait a minute, what’s this? Not just Anaheim fans with sour grapes? It was a little reassuring to see tweets like these from fans of other teams such as Vancouver and Toronto.
The situation was interesting to see unfold. The social media sphere can be an unforgiving place as it is, and when you mix that with passionate sports fans it can breed even more volatility. The tweets spotlighted here were just the tip of the iceberg; A Twitter search for replies to Schultz from his June 6th return date brings up plenty more examples.
Ultimately, it’s up to Schultz whether he’s able to shake the “diva complex” reputation. If he’s able to step on to NHL ice and immediately make an impact, his actions will be seen by many as justified by his talent. If he struggles, it will just reaffirm the reputation he built up this Summer. Either way, talent or flop, he won’t be shaking the ill will from Anaheim fans any time soon. Ducks fans have very long memories when it comes to the grudges they hold, as Paul Kariya can confirm.
Jer is ready to boo Schultz at the Honda Center with you. Follow him on Twitter @JerMeansWell.