PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are the next teams up in the reality series crosshairs, although Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma warned that he does not plan to be nearly as colourful as New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
Ryan annoyed his NFL bosses, not to mention his mother, for dropping F-bombs all over HBO's Hard Knocks series, which followed his football team through training camp.
"I don't think I'll let fly like Rex Ryan," Bylsma said Thursday, shortly after it was announced HBO's 24/7 reality show will go behind the scenes beginning Dec. 15 to chronicle the rivalry between the Pens and Caps, leading up to their meeting in the NHL's annual outdoor game on Jan. 1 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Shooting starts in a couple of weeks and Penguins officials say they thought long and hard about letting TV cameras into areas usually off-limits to the media, such as training rooms, meetings and players' homes.
In the end, Penguins president David Morehouse said, "we thought it would be worthwhile. We have the type of team, frankly that we think won't do embarrassing things behind the scenes."
That may not make for salty dialogue a la Ryan, but there is still the potential for some drama. Team insiders say the dislike many Pittsburgh players have for Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin, thanks to many run-ins over the last few seasons, is intense. If the cameras can capture some of that - and Ovechkin is not the sort of player who is shy about expressing his true feelings - then it will make for good television.
HBO senior producer Dave Harmon said the agreement with the NHL allows the teams to demand cuts in some scenes but only if it puts them at a competitive disadvantage. Anything that does not involve strategy presumably can be fully shown.
At this point, there is no agreement for the series to be carried in Canada but talks are in progress. The issue is Canadian copyright laws, which differ from those in the U.S.
This means the show will not necessarily be carried on HBO Canada but network officials expect if that falls through it will land on another network. They expect the show to be available in Canada.