Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The AHL App Melted Down And Demanded $6,000 From A Guy Named Stewart

The American Hockey League’s long-awaited schedule announcement for the 2019–20 season hit a minor road block on Wednesday, when the code behind the official app of the NHL’s top minor league became self-aware and demanded money from Stewart Zimmel. At least, that’s one way to interpret these confusing but very real screenshots of push notifications sent to users today, which accused Zimmel of threatening to punch someone named Ian Bowman in the throat “nemours times” (sic).


Launching the app at that time led users to a bizarre screenshot of ill-tempered messages apparently dated from March 2017, in which Zimmel does, technically, threaten to punch someone in the throat. (His use of quotations for that phrase, however, implies that he should not be taken literally.)

Stewart Zimmel, for those wondering, is the COO of a company called HockeyTech, according to his LinkedIn. HockeyTech bought the company Zimmel previously worked for, Buzzer Apps, in 2018. Bowman, according to an older fragment of the Buzzer Apps LinkedIn page that’s archived on Google, used to work for the company too. It seems safe to assume that he worked on the AHL app—or at least knew how to hack it—and also that he feels he’s owed $6,000 from Zimmel.

Unfortunately, the AHL app is no longer compromised, and the league sent out an apology, so fans can now learn that the Bakersfield Condors will open the season against the San Diego Gulls without being subjected to esoteric workplace disputes. The truly shocking fact I’ve discovered through this whole affair, however, is that a disturbingly large number of people seem to have minor-league hockey push notifications turned on in the month of July.