The Dallas Stars debuted "New Star Rising" on their official site Tuesday afternoon - A three part half-hour mini-documentary on the team's journey through training camp and the preseason leading up to the regular season.
Fans had seen a glimpse of the footage without knowing when Jamie Benn was named captain and Jim Nill addressed the team about it. The clip played on the Stars website and also during the preseason and regular season game presentations.
They present it in its entirety today and it's a fun look behind the curtain.
The Minnesota Wild have done something similar in the past (and indeed continue to do so) with their "Becoming Wild" series found here in its third season. No word yet on whether or not the Stars plan to continue this, but we'll certainly ask.
Here is part one:
Parts two and three can be found on the front page and video sections of the Stars' official website.
It's refreshing to see this kind of time (and therefore presumably some considerable sum of money) put into a an effort that's part public relations, part marketing, and part fan fulfillment.
One of hockey's problems continues to be the marketability of its personalities or lack thereof. The game as a whole can be lacking in that department, and at times players expressing emotions and opinions outside of the confines of game action can sometimes be frowned upon by the community.
Contrast that with the big personalities in the NFL and the NBA. Opening the locker room, the practice ice, the bus and the plane is an easy way to let fans take a peek at what's already going on.
It can be endearing and it can hasten and deepen fan attachment. And this franchise needs that.
Now, this is no 24/7. There was no adversity to portray, and you wonder how they would have. It is, after all, produced by the team (and Cody Eastwood and everyone else involved should be praised) so there's a certain bias to the story telling, naturally.
I wonder why they couldn't get 40 banks to commission the making of a documentary a couple of years ago...
Many thumbs up from Defending Big D, with a wish for more in the future.
Random observations (spoilers from all three parts, I guess?)
- Tyler Seguin says he and the brothers Benn cook regularly at Jamie's place. You can't help but wonder what that's like.
- The Stars stayed at the Omni in Ft. Worth. Apparently the bathroom stalls don't try to abduct hockey players there, Joel Ward.
- The early going serves as a good chance to get to know Lindy Ruff. He's not most energetic motivational/public speaker there in the conference room at the hotel, but is clearly more in his element on the ice, where he explains that he'd do that hard conditioning skate with them if not for his bad knee. And it's bad for his mustache. I made that part up.
- He tells the players that they all come from different places, and that it doesn't matter what you did before or where (in the lineup) you played - It's a clean slate. It's something good to remember when watching this bunch. It's a new team entirely and it will take a while to come together.
- Valeri Nichushkin telling the tailor "normal" over and over again is the stuff of memes. So get to it. When he starts scoring, anyway. Side note: It's helpful here to see just how young he is. He is so, so young.
- Ralph Strangis' velvety tones make many appearances in highlights of games they didn't even broadcast, which he's done before after the fact, I believe, for something Mike Modano related.
- Another awkward moment: Getting to know Kevin Connauton for a few minutes (which was nice) only to have it end with a healthy scratch in San Antonio.
- One of the talking-heads with Alex Chiasson, also featured, makes him look like a ghost with that bright light shining in his face. Somebody get that boy some sun.
- Mike Heika is such a powerful media force that his countenance shone upon the masses here in multiple parts of these videos ;)
More from Defending Big D:
- What Can We Take Away From Dallas Stars' First Two Games?
- Video Fun: Nick Backstrom Tries to Decapitate Kari Lehtonen; Shawn Horcoff Admonished "You Can't Do that"
- Video Replay Booth: Breaking Down the Dallas Stars First Goal Against the Florida Panthers
- Dallas Stars 2013 NCAA Preview
- Dallas Stars Prospect Update: Stars' OHL Prospects Continue To Impress