Following Canada’s World Junior stars in their pursuit for back-to-back gold medals will be limited to what’s seen on TV and through official Team Canada channels as the players have decided to ditch social media for the entirety of the 2016 tournament.
According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, the Canadian squad at the World Junior Championship has decided to take preemptive measures to ensure there are no distractions for the duration of the competition. The players agreed to delete Twitter and Facebook applications from their phones ahead of a Wednesday practice in Finland ahead of the 2016 tournament.
“As a team, we decided to block everything out,” Lawson Crouse, one of the returnees to this year’s team, told TSN’s Mark Masters. “You see what Connor McDavid said, ‘Try and make yourself live in a bubble,’ and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”
Players will still be allowed to post photos to Instagram on off-days, but there doesn’t appear there will be any other social media interaction during the trip. The players’ Facebook and Twitter accounts will remain active, they’ll just be silent for the two-week tournament.
The decision appears to be one made by the players, though Seravalli noted the team was shown a presentation about social media use by Hockey Canada.
None of Canada’s junior players are overly active on Twitter. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitch Marner leads the way with 2,421 tweets, but no other player has more than 1,500. Marner last took to social media Dec. 15, while a number of other players Tweeted a photo of them heading to Helsinki for the World Juniors.
Social media hasn’t ever become a distraction leading up to or throughout the World Junior tournament, but several NHL players have come under fire in the past few years due to social media. Steven Stamkos’ inadvertent Twitter ‘like’ of a TSN post is the most recent example, but players such as Tyler Seguin and Evander Kane are also among those who have wound up in the headlines thanks to posts on social media.