I’m going to level with you guys: I thought the show “NHL 36″ with Patrick Kane missed badly. It just wasn’t very good.

I really, genuinely want to like it, but how is that possible when HBO’s 24/7 exists, and I know what all-access coverage can look like?

To the NHL’s credit, they’ve recognized there’s a hunger from fans to get behind the scenes, and to get to know the players outside of their “representatives” that do their interviews for them (“representative” is Rob Pizzo’s word for the front guys put on in interviews).

But the Kane show, in particular, again….missed.

Admittedly, I’ve yet to see the episode with Patrice Bergeron (a testament to the thrill ride that was episode one), but the selection of him as player number two strikes me as a bit odd – he has a reputation for being quiet, polite, and a generally a good dude. If you notice what’s successful on TV – the “Real Housewives” and worse -  it’s not that.

It’s possible that 36 hours isn’t enough to get to know the real person that you’re following (and thus, the show would die), but it’s also possible that they’ve just picked two guys who aren’t that exciting, no disrespect to them. (Of course, Kane can apparently be interesting, it just takes 19 Washington apple shots or so.)

I figure the trick is to pick guys who don’t need a long break-in time to reveal themselves. So, without further ado, here’s a list of five players I’d like to see featured on “NHL 36.”

Paul Bissonnette

Bisonnette may be an obvious choice, but not obvious enough that he’s grabbed one of the first two spots.

If NHL:36 is going to work out, they need to pick their spots wisely, and I think that includes the games they choose to follow the guys to. Ideally, you’d have them tail Bissonnette on the road (LA?) on a night he’s healthy scratched. That entertainment value would be huge.

And hey, maybe he’d let them bring the cameras out to a Hollywood party with him after the game. He’d get more attention, and we’d get a solid glimpse of the lifestyle.

Jason Spezza

No disrespect to the guy, but I’m voting for him because I suspect he sleeps in a car bed, and I want proof.

(Sorry, had to put that video in.)

There are a number of people I’m just generally curious about how they live – Patrice Bergeron is not one of them.

I want to see the pods the Sedins sleep in. I want to see the modifications that allow 6’9″ Zdeno Chara’s to function in his house. There are guys who are interesting just because they’re different (not in a bad way), and those are the ones I’d like to see featured.

Jarome Iginla

I know my beef with Patrice Bergeron was “quiet, polite, and generally a good dude,” and that most of those things can also apply to Iginla (“quiet,” not so much). But he’s got something more to go with them: an absurd amount of charisma.

If Jarome could work through the “setting up the play” interview with a smile on, I need to know more about his as a person. What’s the life of a superstar like in Calgary, Alberta? I’d love to know how that guy lives.

Ilya Bryzgalov

Encore, encore.

I know the guy has been all over our television screens lately, but most of us can’t get enough.

HBO has only had a certain number of sit-down interviews with Bryz from which to pull quotes - if we had 36 hours – let’s say 27-29 excluding sleep – we’re guaranteed to be given a few more “humangous big” moments.

The guy is like a car wreck – you can’t not watch.

And last…

Shawn Thornton

I know, I know, he finished atop my beerability list too.

It’s not like I’m a huge fan of the guy’s opinions or anything, I just love his inability to pull punches. When you don’t even have two days with a guy, you want someone who’ll say what he’s thinking, not mince his words, and get to the point.

Patrick Kane and his Dad throwing around a Nerf football during a staged scene in Chicago? Weird, insincere.

Shawn Thornton telling us stories about which Canuck he wants to beat up the most? Setting my DVR.


So who am I missing? Which NHLer would you like to see featured on an episode of NHL:36?