The NHL Network will be helping the Devils in their new approach to interacting with the fans and marketing the team. On Wednesday, September 26 at 7 PM, the network will premiere a new show called “Behind the Glass: New Jersey Devils Training Camp.”
The four-part show, which is being called “all-access” in the press release put out by the team, will be “the first series of its kind focused on the NHL preseason.” Each episode will be 30 minutes in length. According to the press release, it “will offer fans an unprecedented look inside the NHL preseason through the lens of the Devils, who are coming into the 2018-19 NHL regular season following their first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance in six years.”
The show will be produced by NHL Network and NHL Original Productions and “will follow the Devils organization through every step of the preseason, showing viewers all that goes into constructing an NHL roster, from rookies reporting to veterans looking to make an impact, and final roster cuts.” The series will follow GM Ray Shero and coach John Hynes as they “share behind-the-scenes insight into their evaluations on the more than 50 players vying for 23 roster spots.”
Taylor Hall – the reigning Hart Trophy winner, 2018 Masterton Trophy winner Brian Boyle, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt and Marcus Johansson will also be focused on. Hischier will be returning to his native Switzerland to play an exhibition game against SC Bern in the preseason while Bratt and Johansson will be opening the season in their native Sweden with the Devils.
NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President Steve Mayer said: “Behind the Glass will give hockey fans a never-before-seen look at the demanding process of building and making an NHL team during the preseason. We’re excited to partner with the Devils and NHL Network on this all-new series that will uncover compelling stories, on and off the ice, and take fans places that cameras have rarely been allowed. We can’t wait for our fans to be in the room when final roster decisions are being made.”
There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that this would have been something that the team would have participated in during former GM and team President Lou Lamoriello’s tenure. Kudos to the Devils ownership and brass for allowing this to happen. To that point, Devils and Prudential Center President Hugh Weber had this to say: “(t)his will be a great opportunity for our fans, and hockey fans throughout the world, to get an exclusive inside look into who the New Jersey Devils are. The entire organization is proud and excited to be involved in the series. It will allow viewers to witness another example of the culture and message that Ray Shero, John Hynes and our staff have been building for the past few years.”
This series, which seems to follow the NFL’s Hard Knocks a little bit in formula, has shown just how much the Devils have grown as an organization. As I said, during the Lou years and when Dr. McMullen owned the team, something like this would never have been done. The culture has really changed from an access standpoint. It is things like this that will help to grow the Devils’ brand and create new fans. This should also be a great inside look at the Devils in particular and how a NHL training camp works in general. It also helps that the Devils are a young, on the rise team that is exciting to watch which should make for some compelling TV.
There will also be “(e)xclusive bonus content and clips from each episode” that “will be shared by the NHL, NHL Network and the Devils across their digital and social media platforms using #BehindTheGlass.” Fans in Canada will also be able to watch the show on Sportsnet after it airs in the US on the NHL Network.