Florida Panthers President Michael Yormark Dismisses Devils Fan Who “Only Has 70 Followers”
Laura Rubino HAD 70 Followers. She now has close to 4000.
Or Roughly 600 more than Michael Yormark (@PanthersYormark), President of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
The drama started after Yormark insinuated that New Jersey Devils fans were responsible for throwing plastic rats on the ice (a tradition for Florida’s previous run to the Stanley Cup) in order to get the Panthers a delay of game penalty. A pretty smart move if the fans were doing it, and if anything, it served to put a little drama between these two teams. By no means was it an accusation akin to Bounty Gate. On the surface, its just a bit of gamesmanship.
That is where Laura Rubino (@LaurenAshley07) comes in. She is a Devils fan and tweeted out the following
A typical fan response. Nothing too bad.
Yormark responded that he saw that he was getting under Devils’ fans skin and that they were closing out the series.
Just kidding. He took a different route.
Really? The PRESIDENT OF A PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FRANCHISE is saying a fans opinion isn’t valid because she only has 70 followers?
What a douche.
For their part, the Devils caught wind of this and extended her an invitation to watch Game 6 (which the Panthers won) from a team Suite. Conveniently enough, it was the suite located directly above Yormark’s seat.
They also got her story out there on twitter to drive her following to where it is now, surpassing Yormark after only 2 days. I guess his opinion is no longer valid.
Now THAT is gamesmanship.
Details from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy at Yahoo Sports
Her back-and-forth, however, stood out: The snark about the number of Twitter followers she had, combined with the quick dismissal of her opinion, seemed unusually harsh for a team executive. (Well, at least to those unfamiliar with his previous social media impulse control problems.)
“I really don’t care how many Twitter followers I have. I’m on Twitter because it’s fun,” she said. “But to tell someone their opinion doesn’t matter kinda rubs me the wrong way.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a friend of Rubino’s who works for the Devils reached out and asked for her phone number. She soon received a call from Will Carafello, director of digital marketing for the team, with an invitation: After sticking up for Devils fans in her battle with Yormark, the Devils wanted to invite her to watch Game 6 of their series from a luxury suite at Prudential Center
Yormark has a long history of questionable judgement. Aside from running a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in 12 years (in a league where it seems like everybody makes it), he has also used Twitter to go after local writers and and radio personalities.
Around the time of the NHL Trade Deadline, he went after beat writer George Richards (@OnFrozenPond) saying he needed to spend less time at the buffet table and more time covering the games.
He also went after former Miami morning drive host Jorge Sedano (@SedanoShow) at 790TheTicket who questioned some of the teams moves. Yormark responded sarcastically with
Love the positive cats feedback from the jorge sedano show today. No wonder I’m a #joeroseguy.
Joe Rose is the host of morning drive at the rival WQAM.
Pretty petty stuff from the President of a team, especially one that hasn’t been relevant in a long time.
Tomorrow is Game 7 in Florida, if they lose, maybe they should throw Yormark on the ice.