The Habs lost, but the Hurricanes got hacked.
After Carolina beat the Canadiens 4-1 in Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s return to Montreal on Thursday night, the Hurricanes’ social media team decided to have a little fun with it. The team’s official account tweeted out a link to DidTheHabsLose.com, a domain name they had reserved three weeks ago, according to ESPN.
Since the Canadiens signed Sebastian Aho to an offer sheet in 2019, there’s been a rivalry between the franchises. When the Hurricanes did the same with Kotkaniemi this summer, they trolled Montreal by making $20 — Aho’s jersey number — his signing bonus.
They returned to that bit on Thursday, offering Aho and Kotkaniemi shirts on sale for $20 via the site. It was a successful bit of social media marketing, but the website got turned on its head. By Friday morning, it had been hacked and turned into an anti-Hurricanes site.
The landing page on the site reads: “Carolina Hurricanes Suck,” with, “Not even a real team,” and “Cookout isn’t even healthy” among the jabs below it.
Mike Forman, Carolina’s vice president of marketing and brand strategy, told ESPN that owner Tom Dundon called him Friday morning to ask whether it was a hack or the marketing team had done it as part of the joke.
“We may have some fun with it, or we may talk with our IT team to get it corrected,” Forman said. “Either way, we’ll do something.”
Forman said the Hurricanes bought domains for four teams to continue the act, including themselves — just in case. Even with the hack putting a bit of a damper on it, the stunt was a success, driving buzz and attention to the Hurricanes after a big win.
“The fact that we could drive any revenue on a random Thursday night is good for us,” Forman told ESPN. “This is our brand. We’re big and bold. We know we’re going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, but we’re also going to entertain people — especially our fans.”
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