Puck fans duped by teen's Twitter hoax

Edmonton high school student Parminder Sahota's fake tweet about the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers moving...

Edmonton high school student Parminder Sahota's fake tweet about the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg was meant to 'rile up' her followers. (Facebook)

KEVIN ENGSTROM, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:08 AM ET

How out of hand has the NHL-to-Winnipeg hysteria gotten in Winnipeg?

Well, it’s so bad a 17-year-old girl in Edmonton was able to sucker the Twitterverse into believing a news conference announcing the Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg had been slated for Friday afternoon at MTS Centre.

Parminder Sahota made the faux announcement to the 2,000-plus people who follow her Twitter feed — @EpicPuckBunny — about 1 p.m. Thursday, crediting TSN for the story.

“I told my girlfriend I could get my (Twitter) followers all riled up,” Sahota told the Winnipeg Sun, explaining the motive behind her decision to tweet out the misinformation between classes at W.P. Wagner School. “A lot of my followers are Jet fans, so I knew they’d respond.”

She was right. But Sahota couldn’t have possibly envisioned the frenzy she created with one single tweet.

Within minutes, the Grade 12 student’s statement had been retweeted a number of times by Winnipeg puck fans, the Thrashers became one of Twitter’s top trending topics in Canada, and hockey reporters throughout North America — including those at TSN — were forced into publicly denouncing the tweet as inaccurate.

On Thursday night, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman even waded into the story, refuting Sahota’s tweet.

Not bad work for a mischievous kid killing time during her lunch break.

“I think it’s pretty funny,” said Sahota. “I can’t believe anybody would take a joke from a 17-year-old girl from Edmonton so seriously.”

Sahota, who grew up in North Kildonan and has lots of family still living here, said she’s grown tired of everyone taking the NHL’s possible return to Winnipeg so seriously. She said she wants the NHL to return to her hometown as much as anyone, but thinks everyone should stop stressing over it and lighten up.

Some followers took her tweet and the subsequent frenzy with good humour, congratulating her on a prank well done. Others were less appreciative and chided her for floating misinformation.

Still, Sahota said she had no regrets about putting one over on gullible puck fans.

“Would I do it all over again? Oh, hell yeah,” she said. “This was hilarious.”


Videos

Photos