WILMINGTON, Mass. While the Bruins would wholeheartedly love a return engagement to the Winter Classic, one part of it they wouldnt all embrace is the round-the-clock surveillance HBO cameras.
NHL teams invited to participate in the Winter Classic must also now agree to fling open their doors for the 247: Road to the Winter Classic reality series produced by HBO, and thats something that would be different this time around. Two years ago the show wasnt yet in existence when the Bruins hosted the Flyers, and it was a split dressing room when it came to players feelings about allowing that kind of behind the scenes access.
While youngsters like Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand thought it might be fun, and Seguin couldnt help but joke that a Bruins 247 would be the Seguin and Marchand Show, many of the Bs veterans were a little more guarded about their enthusiasm.
Tim Thomas has watched the HBO show, and said he wouldnt be quite as open with his interviews as Philadelphia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has been while waxing philosophic about the Universe, hunting tigers and his Siberian Husky dogs uncanny resemblance to a beautiful blonde woman.
Thomas prefers to keep his wacky goaltender ways under wraps, and wouldnt be opening up his home for Christmas dinner like his Russian counterpart did this season.
Id rather hide what a nut I am rather than advertise it to the whole world like Bryzgalov. I would absolutely hate that. Having cameras around all the time . . . I dont care what you say thats going to change the way you act, said a resolute Thomas. Youre either going to play for the camera or end up being quieter than you normally are because of the camera. Id have a hard time being real with the camera around all of the time.
Similarly Andrew Ference would gladly play in another Winter Classic in front of his family and friends, but wants nothing to do with the intrusive cameras. The Bs defenseman -- and one of the outspoken voices in the dressing room understands the platform it could provide him for his environmental efforts, but thinks it would significantly alter the behavior inside the Bs room.
The longstanding nucleus has achieved something of a perfect vibe inside the Bs room while building themselves into a championship squad, and that change once they pressed the record button.
I watch it and I think its a cool show. They do a good job. They wouldnt be able to air a lot of the stuff in the Bs dressing room. They just wouldnt, said Ference. Youve been around guys for five or six years, and you have inside jokes and things youve said to the other guys in confidence.
All of the sudden you have a microphone and a camera there, and its not so confidential anymore. Its like having a reality show covering your life all the time. Would you talk to your wife the same way that you do now? You turn into an actor. Nobody is real there. You cant be truly who you would be without the cameras.
The unfortunate part about it all: the personalities within the Bruins dressing room would make for excellent television on HBO. From the carefree pranks and joking between guys like Seguin and Marchand to Shawn Thorntons verbal antics during games there is a true wealth of quality programming far beyond what the Flyers and Rangers have been able to offer.
Watching the kind of grueling off-day workouts that make Zdeno Chara legendary among his hockey brethren or viewing the inner-room leadership between periods of a guy like Chris Kelly would be worth the price of admission.
Bruins will get a glimpse of it when the Patrice Bergeron episode of NHL 36 airs on Wednesday night on the NBC Sports Network, but they may never get to see the Bruins fully unmasked as long as guys like Ference and Thomas play such key roles on the hockey club.