Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Which New York Ranger Will Star on HBO 24/7

ESPN’s Sports Nation is doing a fair number of hockey related polls lately and the most recent discusses the upcoming HBO 24/7 between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.  The question revolved around which person on the two squads would be the breakout star of the series.  The choices given are: Ilya Bryzgalov, Ryan Callahan, Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Pronger or John Tortorella.
The list looks like a compilation of the biggest names on the two sides, with the exception of Brad Richards and Jaromir Jagr, and while Pronger and Tortorella have been known to go at with the press in the past, the other three are not known for huge personalities with the media.  Pronger and Tortorella could certainly provide some great content for HBO to show, but they likely will not star in the show unless there is a blow-up at some point.  I would look for players like Martin Biron, Brian Boyle or Derek Stepan to potentially take the star of the show because of the combination of their personalities and the storylines. 
Martin Biron:  Biron has a couple things working for him in the race for star of 24/7 in that he is both a tremendous family man and he is very funny.  The family side of the NHL was went over very well with respect to both Dan Bylsma and Pascal Dupuis last year.  Biron bringing his sense of humor will only add to his likability and it doesn’t hurt that he has a reputation as someone who can talk a lot so there will be plenty of clips to choose from.
Brian Boyle: Boyle has been noted for his humor and impressions of his teammates which would be tremendous video for 24/7 to show and there is a natural storyline with Boyle in that he is trying to repeat his breakout season of a year ago and live up to his new contract.
Derek Stepan:  If the producers on 24/7 want to go with the young Rangers angle, then Stepan might be the best of the bunch to look at.  Stepan will be looking to avoid the sophomore slump, build on an excellent rookie season and the fact that he is always having fun certainly helps for the cameras.  The burgeoning star from Minnesota making it in the biggest city in the world is a great way to promote not only the game as a whole, but USA hockey.