With the ending of 24/7 on HBO many talks of will HBO picks up another NHL team for the next season. Many NHL fans are asking about whom is going to be the next team that is picked up by if they decide to cover NHL next season and want more episodes due to the shortened viewing (4 episodes).
The company could follow the same route as they did last season, sticking with hockey but with more episodes and focusing in on what makes a hockey team work.
Sure with the marketing success of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin it fit perfectly for HBO to pick up the teams at this time and lean on those two individuals to draw ratings.
Yet the NHL is something many have seen of what happens on the ice and outside of it.
Players have families, and struggle to see them once or twice a week, or recover from an injury that hampers them from beginning of training camp or lingers throughout the season.
There were some glimpses of that during the Penguins/Capitals episodes and being a professional athlete is difficult no matter the sport. Yet HBO has yet to capture what lies beneath the NHL and how most of the players get started. That's where the AHL comes into play.
Mostly every single NHL player has gone through the AHL at one time or another and with HBO following, they can really capture how that is achieved. There are no luxuries such as first class flights, or free merchandise. These players are battling every day in order to make their step toward their ultimate goal of becoming a NHL player.
The AHL is where it starts for most players coming out of college or former NHL players trying to get back to where they once were. Sure the AHL doesn't have the fan base as the NHL but that's what makes it that much more interesting.
The Chicago Wolves can be that focal point for the next season of HBO 24/7 and the team wouldn't disappoint. With being a successful team already in the AHL and the defunct IHL, the team would bring ratings in from any household across the country. Sure the team is not the highest rank of professional hockey but any person fan of the sport would tune in.
Seeing the Wolves run like a NHL team is something that is rarely seen in minor league hockey and could be another selling point to the producers of the show on why this team should be followed for a few games. The team is surrounded by many individuals who have been around the sport for a long time and point their success towards the Chicago Wolves at one time.
Watching Don Levin up and close and personal during games and his reactions every time something happens on the ice is priceless and something that not many owners display. He cares about winning at all costs and watching him working the business side as well as the hockey side with his General Manager Wendell Young would be something incredible to watch.
The focus on the Penguins and Capitals was more of the play on the ice and not what made this team develop behind the scenes. Being in the minor leagues, the cameras can be follow the team on long bus rides, see where they stay during away games. Many viewers could compare what the NHL players have and what AHL players can look forward to both on and off the ice.
The Chicago Wolves have my vote on if HBO decides to cover the sport of hockey again next season. It really lets fans and fellow athletes into the world not many people get to see besides the play on the ice. With the AHL there is a sense of curiosity of what it is like to be close to your goal and how you are not quite their but that much closer to it. With the great job the company did covering the teams for 3 to 4 weeks, the Chicago Wolves would draw ratings for the show and see what it takes to work your way from the bottom all the way to the top.