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The Caps talk about their HBO special

As you've heard, the Caps and Penguins will be part of a four-part HBO all-access series during the lead-up to and aftermath of the Winter Classic, beginning on Dec. 15. More details here.

The Caps players were told about the series by GM George McPhee on Thursday morning, and then the media had at them about the prospect of being on unedited national television. Especially the unedited part.

"Well, hockey players don't swear, so we don't have to worry about that," Matt Bradley said.

"Well, if I'm gonna say some bad words it's gonna be Russian words," Alex Ovechkin said. "Probably you guys don't understand it. I don't know. We'll see."

"I don't know if guys are gonna be able to watch what they say or what," Mike Knuble said. "There's nobody in here that's just an absolute idiot, saying dumb things all the time. I mean, I guess in the course of your workplace, you always let something stupid come out of your mouth. Some people it's once a day, some people it's once a week....We'll have language. That's the reality of pro sports. It happens. There's moments that are kind of ugly at times. Stuff might get ugly at times, but probably our year will be going pretty smoothly."

So whose mouth will you have to watch out for?

"Schultize," Bradley said, straight-faced. "Schultzie gets pretty crazy behind the scenes. A guy like him, him and Tom Poti, those two guys, when you get them alone behind the scenes might get pretty crazy."

"I mean, there'll be certain guys like [Jason] Chimera that will take it over the top," Knuble said. "When he sees the camera, it'll be a whole different person."

I further wondered whether the Caps' room will produce a breakout star, a charming personality, someone the country will fall in love with. Like Eric Fehr, maybe.

"No, no one will like Fehrsie," Bradley said.

Or Jeff Schultz.

"Nah, he still won't say anything," Knuble said.

In fact, the players said Ovechkin would be the star, which is obvious but boring as heck.

"The more you get to know him off the ice, the more you like him," Bradley said. "People already love him, but they'll even love him more."

"The rest of us just kind of hang out in the weeds," Mike Green added.

Ovechkin said he has HBO at home but only his family members watch it. He said he doesn't watch television shows, sticking with movies. (He just watched The Town.) But he said he'd make an exception.

"Oh yeah. I'm gonna watch this show. This is gonna be probably my favorite show," he said. "It's pretty cool experience, sick. For the team, for the guys, for the organization, it's a big step forward. We're gonna be on TV again, so it's good."

And the players said they would try not to play for the camera, and would keep things business as usual. They said it would be good for fans to understand what things are actually like in the dressing room, warts and all. Not literally, I hope.

"We're all pretty natural, we have a fun time, we have a good time, [but] at the same time it's not a party atmosphere in here all the time," Knuble said. "Guys are serious about playing the game. So that's probably one of the big things we've got to remember is you don't have to put on a show for the cameras, just kind of let things happen and they'll have hours of footage to pick out and show. I guess enough stuff will happen naturally. Hockey players are pretty funny and they say some funny stuff. We've got some sharp personalities in here, so they'll come out."

By Dan Steinberg  | September 23, 2010; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  Caps, Media  
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Next: Caps on HBO: Questions and answers


Dan, care to enlighten me?

I watched that interview with Bradley and couldn't tell if he was being facetious with his comments about Schultz and Poti. He was straight-faced for sure, but considering it followed his (seemingly) sarcastic comment about how hockey players don't swear, I wasn't able to tell.

The thought of Poti getting crazy cracks me up. I can't wait to get a more transparent look into the hockey locker room, especially since most hockey players are so soft spoken. Unless it's Ovi speaking, if you've heard one interview, you've heard them all.

Posted by: MillBurray | September 23, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

millburray, you can be sure brads was being sarcastic. he's a pretty funny guy and i wouldnt be surprised if he gets a lot of camera time in this special.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | September 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

BB's gonna end up being the star.

Posted by: rademaar | September 23, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I take it you haven't seen the Caps Redline episode where they talk about who the biggest prankster is and while everyone is saying Bradley, Brads tries to deadpan: "This is a serious place of work. I haven't smiled all day."

Posted by: koalatek | September 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

MillBurray--Bradley's humor is the best--dry and deadpanned. Yeah he was kidding.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 23, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

So much for Leonsis' BS that their only focus this season is the Stanley Cup.........

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 23, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I definitely think Matt Bradley will end up being the unsung star of this show. Some of the quotes I've seen from that guy are priceless.

Posted by: Ray180 | September 24, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey poguesmahone... real hockey fans know you don't win the cup in December.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | September 24, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The show is probably going to do some background filming through November, and then the heavy filming will be in early December through the Winter Classic. But if the focus of the any of the players is affected it will be less of a distraction than last years Olympics and come earlier. This team really took off from December until the playo...well you know. I can't see how this is anything but a good thing for the Caps, the Pens and the NHL. Don't forget, this isn't the "Hard Knocks" format, it is the boxing "24/7" format.

Posted by: b80vin | September 24, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

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