When HBO launched the show 24/7 in the Fall of 2010 to follow around NHL rivals Pittsburgh and Washington leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field, it gave a chance for hockey fans everywhere to take an behind-the-scenes look at hockey players and their everyday lives.
It also left a lasting impression for some of hockey’s future prospects.
“I was a huge fan of the 24/7 series,” Penguins goaltending prospect Matt Murray said. “With the Pittsburgh (season), it’s crazy to see the same sort of thing that went on in the 24/7 series. To see all the guys walking in the dressing room and now I’m sitting in one of the stalls, it’s definitely a shock and it’s nice.”
HBO 24/7 helped to bring in a whole new group of Penguins fans, like many of these prospects, who began watching Marc-Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby or some of the other Penguins on the show. HBO’s 24/7 also led to the creation of “In the Room” – a 24/7-type web series on www.PittsburghPenguins.com.
“It’s pretty unreal,” Penguins forward prospect Matia Marcantuoni said. “I watched the HBO series 24/7 and seeing Sidney’s stall is pretty surreal.“
For some, like Teddy Blueger, the show gave him an inside look on the ins and outs of the NHL, ranging from time with the media, to family, to the talk on the ice.
“I was definitely a big fan of the show,” Blueger said. “It was interesting to me and I really enjoyed watching it because I always wanted to know what it would be like to be in the NHL because that’s my dream – to play there. To see how the players live their day-to-day lives, now, it’s hard to believe that I’m here now in the same locker room that the show was on that I watched so many times over. It feels really good, it’s a special opportunity and I’m really enjoying it. “
Many of the prospects, after being picked at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, all exclaimed how they were excited to be a part of an organization where they got to watch the players and coaches their every day lives – something the players hope to accomplish at some point in the near future.
“Seeing all the familiar faces like Mr. Byslma and Mr. Shero, the coaches, even the rooms in the facility, it’s an eye opener for sure,” defenseman Clark Seymour said. “Seeing it two years ago on TV and now sitting in one of the stalls with the equipment on is definitely pretty surreal.”