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Conner Prefers Privacy to Spotlight

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Wings forward Chris Conner didn't mind the cameras, that much, during last season's taping of HBO's series "24/7". (Photo by Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Injures to several key offensive contributors helped Chris Conner stick around with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

It also put him smack dab in the middle of a spotlight he didn’t necessarily want.

Shortly after the Livonia, Mich., native was called up from the minors, TV crews and plenty of their equipment descended upon the Steel City to capture behind-the-scenes footage of the Penguins for HBO’s reality sports series, ‘24/7 Penguins-Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic’.

“I tried to stay away from the cameras a much as possible,” said Conner, who played 60 games for the Pens, but was a healthy scratch for the New Year’s Day at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. “It was hard because their presence was pretty overwhelming at first. They were at everything, they were constantly around, the meetings they were in with cameras, everywhere. But the longer it went on the easier it became, and everyone adapted to it.”

The four one-hour long episodes featured mostly star players, particular Sidney Crosby and Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, along with their coaches the Pens’ Dan Bylsma and then-Capitals’ bench boss Bruce Boudreau. But for four long weeks, players, coaches and staff had every move caught on film for the documentary, whether it was used for the series or ended up on the cutting room floor.

“I don’t think I spoke in it,” Conner said. “There were other guys that were in it, but I thought it was great, especially since they gave fans an inside look. It’s pretty accurate, and last year it was pretty wild when the Penguins were on that big winning streak, and at the same time the Capitals were on their big losing streak. You could see both ends and what goes on.”

The cable network captured an Emmy Award for last year’s production. And yes, they are back at it again this fall following the New York Rangers and the Flyers in advance of the 2012 Winter Classic set for Jan. 2 at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia.

“I didn’t go out of my way to avoid the cameras, but I’m kind of shy to begin with,” Conner said. “Some people love to be in the spotlight, and you could see who really thrived on it. I just went about my business and didn’t do anything extra because the cameras were there.”


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