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George McPhee on Caps-Pens HBO series: 'Let's do this'

If you haven't done so already, head over to the D.C. Sports Bog and check out what the Capitals players had to say about having four weeks of their season chronicled by HBO for a four-part "24/7" series leading up to the Winter Classic. Dan Steinberg also answers some basic questions about the series.

But now on to another question that Capitals General Manager George McPhee acknowledged himself: How does he feel about opening the team up to cameras, and by extension, the public, on a level that they've never allowed before?

"Frankly, it's one of the easiest decisions that we've made with respect to this stuff," McPhee said. "HBO's really good and I said: 'Let's do this.'

"We've been pretty strict with access to the locker room and we've always felt that the locker room at the practice rink or the main rink is really a player sanctuary," he said. "They have to have some place where they can work and have some privacy; that's why we've been strict. But with HBO -- after watching what they did with 'Hard Knocks' and everything else and seeing some of the other programs that they've done, they're big time. We're going to give them unfettered access, because we thought 'Hard Knocks' was great."

McPhee isn't worried about the series exposing strategic details of the Capitals' game plans -- and other information they'd like to keep private -- or that the cameras will become a distraction for the players.

"I think with all the attention our team has had the last couple years, our players are accustomed to this sort of thing," McPhee said. "We've tried to loosen up a little bit and give people access. I don't see it as a distraction. As we've learned with most of our players -- and certainly Alex [Ovechkin] -- they embrace it. They can handle it, it doesn't bother them, it doesn't effect their play."

Although there may be some things the team would rather keep private, McPhee believes the overall benefits of the series giving exposure to the NHL and hockey players outweigh any of those concerns.

"I think if we give them unfettered access and it's done right," he said, "people are going to get the right portrayal of hockey players and like them as much in their unguarded moments as the guarded ones."

By Katie Carrera  | September 23, 2010; 4:21 PM ET
Categories:  George McPhee, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winter Classic  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals assign seven players to Hershey
Next: Caps' Brooks Laich: Pressure comes from within


I can understand the value of this from the marketing perspective. But all it did for the Jets was put an even bigger target on their backs. I would have some concerns if I were GMGM.

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

can't wait to see this!

Posted by: capscoach | September 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I can understand the value of this from the marketing perspective. But all it did for the Jets was put an even bigger target on their backs. I would have some concerns if I were GMGM.

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2010 5:21 PM

i don't care for it either - but they (the nhl) are looking for a bigger/better tv contract. i hope it's not with versus or hbo though

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Someone should remind GMGM of Mike Green's rock star status and how it affects his play. I'd be worried about others. Looks like nobody grows up this year.


Posted by: rblatch45 | September 23, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

And a big PS: Like he had a choice.

Posted by: rblatch45 | September 23, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Not saying I won't be watching though!

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Lets not overreact to this. It is in December. They will have four months to let everything subside. In addition, it isn't only the Caps, it is the Pens too so the "target" would be spread.

In addition, the HBO stage will be smaller than the Olympic stage was last year for players who participated.

It very well may be distracting for the few weeks when HBO is filming, but as most people here have already stated, the regular season is worthless.

It will have no effect on the outcome of the playoffs. Teams will not be gunning for the Caps any harder in the playoffs than they already were. It's not like the Caps were going to be overlooked by opposing teams.

If anything, it gives them an extra month of "pressure" hockey during the season. That can only be a good thing for a team often accused of not being able to deal with pressure situations.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 23, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I think it wasn't 'Hard Knocks' that put a target on the Jets in was their coach saying it was win the Super Bowl or bust. Not only that they went the whole offseason and preseason without their best player who because he didn't get conditioned well is already hurt. Not only that but they were playing a good team the first week and another very good team the next week and are 1-1. That team also seems to have no one has control over that team even the coach seems to have gotten in trouble at least once over the offseason.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 23, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I think that it will generate more interest in the sport of hockey, and that's a good thing. I can't wait to see the show!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | September 23, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was pretty funny how GMGM wasn't worried about it "exposing strategic details of the Capitals' game plan."

What strategic details? Didn't anybody see the playoffs last spring?

I think this is an excellent opportunity to strategically PRETEND to have a strategic game plan while the cameras are rolling. This will strategically confuse the opposition into thinking that we have strategy.

Posted by: struggler | September 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Since this will also affect the Penguins, I think it is a good strategic move. I have a feeling that Crosby and Maxipad will have a tougher time with the cameras than Ovi & Co.

Posted by: chatton | September 24, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Another silly sideshow by Teddy and his band of clowns. And I thought this season was going to be dedicated to winning a Stanley Cup? Silly me.............

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 24, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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