The Penguins #AskNeal Hashtag Backfired Horribly

Monday March 24th, 2014

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On Monday afternoon, the Penguins official Twitter account decided to attempt to engage fans by requesting that they send questions for forward James Neal to the hashtag #AskNeal.

It was an innocent attempt to spur conversation on social media that ultimately took no time at all to completely backfire. Neal, who one former referee recently called "the poster child for what is wrong with the NHL discipline system," definitely had a lot of people who wanted to ask him questions. The issue was that most of them weren't Penguins fans.

Several of the questions were clearly related to the 5 game suspension Neal received for kneeing an opponent in the head in December.

Others dealt with the $5000 fine Neal recently landed for cross-checking an opponent in the head:

Before long #AskNeal was trending... in Philadelphia, home of the rival Flyers.

Harsh tweets kept piling up throughout the day, the majority of which I probably shouldn't post, but you can read them for yourself on Twitter. The ultimate lesson here: Don't try to engage hockey fans on social media. Or really anybody. Honestly just don't use social media.

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