Amidst the chaos of the offseason, the Philadelphia Flyers somehow managed to find time to release the debut episode of their new behind the scenes mini series, aptly dubbed “Flight Plan” (video below). If you were starving for some new Flyers fodder, you were likely just served a delicious first course that left you begging for more.
There are a lot of pros and cons to the team’s approach to an inside look at the brain trust as they prepped for the 2013 NHL Draft. Considering how old school the team is, you have to applaud their willingness to expose their inner-workings to the world. They gave you things you couldn’t see anywhere else, and quite frankly they knocked it out of the park. Watching the scouts dissect the rankings and debating players was fascinating, regardless of whether or not you agree with what they said. Looking back on the draft and applying what you heard makes it even more interesting. Hearing them put it together while naming other players was the icing on the cake.
There was one problem with the conversation – you couldn’t see what they were talking about because the team opted to blur out their draft board in order to maintain a competitive advantage. It’s understandable, as they surely don’t want other teams to know where they rank the rest of the prospects that now reside on the depth charts of 29 other teams, but it made for poor viewing. Perhaps they might have been better served with tighter shots of the group of players they ended up naming anyways, mixed in with the blurred shots from afar.
Unfortunately, the premiere episode is limited to that lone conversation that day in a hotel boardroom. On one hand, it leaves the viewer wanting more. These episodes definitely need to be longer, with the next one hopefully featuring at least two scenes. This is not a slight, but rather a testament to the quality of the information and entertainment behind the manner with which it was delivered. I’m cautiously optimistic we’ll see fifteen minutes in episode two, but even that won’t be enough.
On the other hand, it makes you wonder how long this experiment will be allowed to go on before the season begins to come into focus. After the draft and some free agency, the show will be essentially caught up. They might maintain ultimate control of the message, but is the team willing to release episodes featuring inside looks at RECENT events without knowing how the story unfolds?
It would be a dire casualty, as the Flyers media team is really onto something here. If they can continue with their behind the scenes fashion of filming, I think they’ll find themselves rewarded with plenty of views for their efforts and exposure. If the debut episode was any indication, this Flight Plan has potential to be a major win off the ice for the organization.
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