There once was a time where hockey fans had to sit back and wonder what their favorite player was like away from the rink. Those days are a distant memory thanks to technology that allows us to take a glance behind the scenes with some of the NHL's most recognizable names.
The NHLPA has embraced the idea that fans want to see their favorite players away from the rink by filling their YouTube channel with different players cooking, fishing or engaging local wildlife. The end result, like the video above with Scott Hartnell and some geese, offers an interesting and new perspective on what certain NHL players are like when they aren't out on the ice.
The NHLPA has teamed up with Blackberry to bring fans behinds the scenes. As their slogan goes, "All access. Redefined". Players use their Blackberry products to capture footage of life around the house or of them doing various activities.
Clearly, Scott Hartnell wants to host his own nature show and doesn't want to wait until his NHL career is over to start one. Hartnell is the most prominent regular name to be seen in the NHLPA's behind the scenes videos, starring in videos that range from his above wildlife special to him racing up the iconic Rocky steps in Philadelphia.
Hartnell isn't the only NHL player embracing Blackberry and YouTube fame. Michael Grabner is also in several unique spots, including his own version of a home cooking show. It's safe to say Grabner won't be approached by Food Network any time soon.
Bobby Ryan also is in on the fun with one video showing him on his trip to Finland shooting a tennis ball onto a boat in Helsinki Harbor...
... and another showing his failed attempt at ordering a burger in a differnt language while expressing his hatred for mayonnaise.
We give the NHLPA plenty of credit for giving the fans what they want. These brief videos are extremely interesting as they show off players we are all familiar with in a new light. Sure, the facts we're learning hold no significant value (is your life altered knowing Bobby Ryan isn't a fan of mayonnaise?) but they are still entertaining.
The recent success of shows like NHL 24/7 and NHL 36 have proven that interest in players away from the rink is at an all-time high. Expect the NHLPA and Blackberry to keep churning out spots as fans clamor for more looks behind the scenes with some of the NHL's most prominent figures.
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