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Wheeler: #26 is now ^26

Blake Wheeler is connecting with fans via Twitter and CoTweet.

Wednesday, 09.23.2009 / 7:33 PM / Features
By Heather Nelson  - Media Relations Intern
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Wheeler: #26 is now ^26
Boston, MA -- The Bruins are taking over Cyberspace one roar, er, make that tweet, at a time.

Tobi (photo by Blake Wheeler)
Boston's Blake Wheeler (or “^26”) recently hit the Internet via the Black & Gold’s official Twitter platform @NHLBruins so that fans could gain an inside look at Blake’s day- to-day life beyond his experience as an on-ice member of the Bruins.

So, what exactly should we expect from ^26 @NHLBruins?

“More or less, things that happen outside of the rink,” said the big Bruins sophomore. “I think that people have a general idea of what happens when you are at the rink. Practices, games – they can be pretty redundant. So, I’ll just tweet things that I do with my daily life; things that I like to have fun with.

“I think the more you include fans with things that you do off the ice, the more engaged you can be with them,” he said.

One of Wheeler’s first and most engaging tweets included a picture of his new mini bulldog "Tobi."

The puppy is named after the character Tobias from the now cult classic sitcom “Arrested Development” and in Tobi's picture the dog sported a pair of cutoff jean shorts.

“Tobi is a great dog,” said Blake. “He has many little quirks.

“Tobi cries about everything and he likes to chase me around the house with his favorite squeak toys.”

Obviously, Twitter is a new thing for Wheeler but certainly has enjoyed updating the world @NHLBruins.

“It has been interesting because you don’t really know how big of a following the social media really has,” said ^26.  “People get really involved with it and it is a great way to communicate and connect with the fans.

“I am having fun with it.”

Thanks to a Twitter application called CoTweet, @NHLBruins features four different news sources.

Beyond Wheeler’s ^26, Bruins beat writer John Bishop uses the handle “^BISH” to keep the Hub of Hockey in the know with updates from TD Garden, Ristuccia Arena and the road. “^BB” is the official voice of the Bruins, and alerts fans about official Bruins news and releases “^BUZZ” fills in the gaps with contests, B’s off-ice news and breaking ticket info.

 “Anytime you can communicate and connect with fans I think it will make it a bit more of an intimate relationship, more than what they just read in the newspapers,” said Wheeler. “It’s exciting, really exciting to be a part of this now.

“The fans and the community are really excited about our team, and a lot of it had to do with the success we had last year.

“I think we are just looking to build on what we did last year and establish our identity, and try to win each game as them come.”

Fans can sign up on Twitter to follow Wheeler and the rest of the Black & Gold @NHLBruins.com.

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