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?

Comments (13)

  1. I would like to see someone from Toronto since they have to deal with all of the media and pressure of playing in that city. We could also get a glimpse into just how mean Dion Phaneuf really is.

    It would also be really interesting to follow someone on a team that is doing so poorly. We already know that Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan can be charismatic in front of a video camera. The Ducks are struggling. Plus a cameo of Boudreau behind the scenes could be worth it.

  2. PK Subban strikes me as one that could be interesting, but that may mostly be from my being a Habs fan. Having said that, if you can get him in the summer when he’s with Malcolm and Jordan it might be really good (depending on whether or not they are as enthusiastic as he is).

    How about Viktor Tikhonov? See how the grandson of the famed dictatorial coach lives.

  3. My (not so short) list:
    Sean Avery. No explanation needed.
    Rick DiPetro. I want to see the house he hangs out in while he’s “injured”.
    The Devils’ Sweede Crew- Apparently Larsson, Tedenby, Josefson, and Hedburg all live close by to each other and hang out.
    Ryan Miller. Great goalie, but is there anything else to him?
    The Staal brothers. Would like to see them, maybe when they play against each other.

  4. what a stupid name, nhl 36? come on

  5. Miikka Kiprusoff- what makes the most mysterious goalie in the league tick? Does he get as drunk as I assume he does?

  6. Just look at the best guys known for their chirping or spark plug guys..

    Wild: Clutterbuck

    Wings: Commodore for his great samaritan like of giving tix away when he was a blue jacket to his grocery clerk, and random people he’d encounter. Also his money shot when he won his fantasy football league. Plus his hair was that of mythical porportions when he won the cup..

    Blues: besides the fact 3 former college teammates all lived with eachother while playing for the Blues this year would’ve been great tv, but TJ Oshie seems to always grab the headlines even when he doesn’t arrive to practice on time.. Oshie, and the young core of the blues are inseperable and all live within ear shot of eachother..

    Hawks: Maybe Carcillo, Toews if you want to know what its like to be a real pro at everything.

    Nashville: Tootoo even though the NHL Network did one already about his past..

    Blue Jackets: Dorsett, or even Brassard, just so his agent can make it on tv and complain about his lack of TOI..

    Coyotes: biznazty

    Peg: big buff, especially if its the summer edition, shout out to Lake Minnetonka!

    Florida Teams: any player that hangs at the beach, I’m pretty sure there would be some eye candy bombing in the background if a player hits up a club like in Tampa at Ybor City.. or for that matter just getting prepared to play when its 90 degrees out and sunny..

    Caps: when Ovie is in Russia during summer, I’ve read about this mother russia, please show us non caps fans..

  7. Simply put – Tim Thomas

  8. Instead of one guy they should do Moulson & Quick over the summer. Being that they are in-laws it could make for some interesting TV. I’d love to see those family BBQs in Greenwich.

    • There was an article a while back on NHL.com about Moulson and Quick, should still be there.

      As both MikeK and Curt said, I think that a show or two looking at the family connections in the NHL and how they prepare to play against each other especially in the wake of Eric Staal inadvertently concussing his own brother,

  9. I could totally see Spezza sleeping in a car bed

  10. Brent Burns, I want to see him feed his snakes.

  11. I think it would be an interesting to see how a guy like Korbinian Holzer…or Darrell Boyce lives. Those are Leafs examples but insert any player. Watching Kane, you know his life is awesome. How does the guy who is up from *insert name of backwater shithole here* live and deal with the pressure of not being sure if it’s 1 day, 1 week, or the year.

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