Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul puts call out to Twitter to help find his iPhone and succeeds

You’ve done it, I’ve done it, we’ve all done it. We’ve left our cell phone somewhere and couldn’t locate it.

The terrors, the shakes, the panic sets in as you try to retrace your steps to locating it. You use someone else’s phone to call it to see if you managed to get it lost under a table after a night of shenanigans.

Or if you’re Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul you accidentally left your iPhone in a Toronto taxi cab and got scared. How does one go about recovering that? Lupul took his action to Twitter where he put out the call to his 27,000+ followers to help him find his missing phone.

Lupul offered up a reward for the user that helped find his phone: tickets to the next five Maple Leafs home games and a jersey. A pretty sweet reward if there ever was one since Leafs tickets and a jersey aren’t exactly cheap.

After just ten minutes, Lupul tweeted another update to say the phone was located. He told James Mirtle of The Globe & Mail about his ordeal and about how the power of social media came through for him.

Lupul was amazed so many people took his tweet seriously.

“It was honestly just kind of a shot in the dark,” he said. “I was half joking.

“I called [the cab company] and when I spoke to the lady, she said ‘oh we’ve been expecting your call.’ I think they’re probably so annoyed with me now. But I got it back.”

Because no one person earned the reward, Lupul said he plans to give the cab driver tickets to the Leafs next home game, which will be tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It’s a bit of a silly story, but it’s all fun nonetheless. If you’re a hockey fan and you’re not using Twitter, you’re missing out on a lot of fun things like this as it’s one of the mediums the NHL and its players have really warmed up to to help reach out to fans. While there’s been instances like those surrounding new Ducks goalie Dan Ellis that have made it awkward for some players, you’ve got other guys like Paul Bissonnette of Phoenix that have latched onto it for all that it’s worth and made it their own personal haven for fame.

While making themselves available through such a public entity can be both awkward and fantastic for fans, guys like Lupul and Bissonnette that have embraced it through good and bad have set a solid example of how to have fun with the medium and not make it dreadfully boring or overly self-serving just the same. Sure team PR people might have a little heart attack each time something comes out, the fans are enjoying the interaction and that goes a long way to winning fans over.

Rangers make changes after loss in Anaheim

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The scuffling New York Rangers — coming off a 6-3 loss Sunday in Anaheim, and with just two wins in their last seven — are expected to have a slightly different lineup tonight in San Jose.

Up front, winger Matt Puempel is likely to replace rookie Pavel Buchnevich. And on the back end, Dan Girardi will come in for Kevin Klein.

The Girardi-for-Klein switch is no huge surprise. Both d-men have been battling injuries, with Klein only returning Sunday after an extended absence due to back spasms. Head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters that he “didn’t want to put two injured defensemen in at the same time,” so Klein gets the night off tonight.

As for the potential scratching of Buchnevich, that decision would be slightly more controversial. The 21-year-old has two goals and three assists in his last 11 games, but clearly has not gained the full trust of his coach.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in goal after a tough return to the net against the Ducks.

Canucks hint at shutting down injured Markstrom

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It doesn’t sound like Jacob Markstrom will play any more games for the Vancouver Canucks this season.

The 27-year-old goalie has been trying to recover from a knee injury suffered in the Canucks’ skills competition on Feb. 26.

“I don’t think things are great,” head coach Willie Desjardins said today. “We’ve got to make a medical decision on him.”

It has to be frustrating for Markstrom, who was hoping to challenge Ryan Miller for the starting job this year. The tall Swede played well at times, going 10-11-3 with a .910 save percentage — but in the end, he only made 23 starts.

“He’s a good goalie,” Desjardins said of Markstrom. “He can challenge for the number-one spot. Every time he goes in net, I’ve got lots of confidence in him. He’s left his mark this year.”

Markstrom is signed through 2019-20, while Miller is a pending unrestricted free agent.

It’s possible that the Canucks will re-sign Miller and come back with the same netminding tandem next season.

Oilers sign Walter Brown Award winner Gambardella

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Joe Gambardella, the UMass-Lowell senior that scored 52 points in 41 games this year, has signed a two-year, entry-level deal with Edmonton, the club announced on Monday.

Gambardella, 23, captured this year’s Walter Brown award as the top American-born collegiate player in New England. He beat out the likes of Clayton Keller, Colin White, Charlie McAvoy and Tage Thompson for the honor, and joined a distinguished list of past winners.

Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey won the Walter Brown in ’16 and ’15, while Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau won it in ’14.

Gambardella is the first UMass-Lowell player to ever win the award, which has been given out annually since 1953. It capped off a nice year in which he also paced the River Hawks to the NCAA tournament.

An undrafted free agent, Gambarella’s ELC will kick in next season. It’s also worth noting that one of his UMass-Lowell teammates, defenseman Michael Kapla, signed with the Devils earlier today.

 

 

Coyotes to honor Cunningham for his ‘tremendous courage’

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The Arizona Coyotes will honor Craig Cunningham with a ceremonial puck drop on April 8 before their final home game of the season against the Minnesota Wild.

From the team press release:

Cunningham, who survived a medical emergency prior to the Tucson Roadrunners game on November 19, has made a remarkable recovery. Fans will have an opportunity to congratulate him on the tremendous courage, willpower and perseverance he’s demonstrated throughout his rehabilitation.

Cunningham was recently honored by the Roadrunners.

The 26-year-old’s hockey career is unfortunately over after doctors were forced to amputate part of his left leg due to concerns over infection.

True to form, though, he’s maintained a positive attitude.

“Obviously I miss playing every single day, and I miss the atmosphere around the locker room,” Cunningham said, per the Arizona Daily Star. “The guys have been great. From Day 1, they’ve been to see me every day. It’s been pretty incredible.”