NHL and HBO 24/7: Who Will Be the Next Stars of the Emerging Hit Show?
In a recent interview with YES Network's Michael Kay, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed that HBO is interested in continuing their coverage of NHL franchises on 24/7, following the success of the Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins edition.
Bettman also said that for teams to be considered for future Winter Classics, teams must be willing to open their locker rooms for behind-the-scenes documentation for the HBO show.
Here are the top 10 teams that should be the next stars of the show.
10. Los Angeles Kings
The NHL tried to capitalize on the popularity of the Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins rivalry by selecting them to play in the 2011 Winter Classic. It was that rivalry that caused HBO to take notice and want to feature the two teams, and the league, on their hit documentary-series 24/7.
With another season of 24/7, the NHL should take another route. This time, highlight young up-and-coming teams like the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings have up-and-coming stars like Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson, as well as veterans like Anze Kopitar.
Plus, their setting in star-studded LA is the perfect location for filming.
9. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning have emerged seemingly out of nowhere to play a dominant role in the Eastern Conference.
They have emerged under new ownership and the tutelage of their new GM Steve Yzerman.
Plus, they boast top young talent in Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman. They also have great personalities in Marty St. Louis and Ryan Malone in the dressing room.
This would also be an opportunity to attract more fans to the Florida teams that typically struggle in their markets.
8. Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators are on the verge of making a long playoff run, probably culminating in winning the Cup.
They have top talent in captain Shea Weber and the new addition of Mike Fisher from Ottawa.
Nashville should be a contender for a spot on the show.
7. Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens stunned the hockey world last year when they upset the Washington Capitals and then the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs.
They have top young talent in P.K. Subban and goaltender Carey Price.
They also play in Montreal, a beautiful French city with the aura of a European city.
6. Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are a good prospect because they won the Stanley Cup, then were forced to trade away a lot of their team due to salary cap constraints.
The show could follow the ups-and-downs of the franchise.
League stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane would be star power.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had their struggles this year. There has been so much speculation about what goes on behind closed doors; why not let the public see what truly goes on?
Fans would get a glimpse at Ron Wilson's coaching style. They would see Brian Burke at work behind the scenes. They would also get to know Dion Phanuef and Phil Kessel better.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are historically one of the most popular teams in Canada, which would attract a lot of viewers as well.
4. Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks have dominated this year. They are on their way to the Presidents Trophy and possibly a Stanley Cup as well.
The NHL should capitalize on the Canucks' success now by naming them the next stars of the show.
There is also the prospect of seeing the Sedin twins as another teaser.
3. New York Rangers
Two reasons: John Tortorella and Sean Avery. Enough said.
They may be pests and jerks, but they provide entertainment.
If you thought Bruce Boudreau swore a lot, imagine John Tortorella. Boudreau will look like Tony Dungy if we give Torts a microphone during games.
2. Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are a classic. They feature veteran players such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk.
Datsyuk alone would make the show with his sense of humor.
1. Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers would be amazing. They have been really dominant this year, and they will continue to be in the future.
Peter Laviolette is another quiet coach like Dan Bylsma; it would be interesting to see him behind the scenes.
Plus, the Flyers are known for fighting. We can all agree that the fights that were mic'd up during the last 24/7 were pretty awesome.
There is also the always entertaining Chris Pronger.