Better late than never! This week in the Air Mail we look at a possible 24/7 TV series for the Jets and Alex Burmistrov…
— WPG College football (@Wpg_CFB_Fans) February 22, 2016
A 24/7 style TV series based on the Winnipeg Jets would be somewhat intriguing for sure – perhaps leading up to an outdoor game for instance? Fans love being able to peek into the lives of pro hockey players (and athletes in general as we’ve seen from similar shows such as UFC’s Ultimate Fighter and NFL’s Hard Knocks series) and finding out which players may have quirky traits and how certain players act off the ice. It would be no different for the Jets as I can think of a few different players that I think would be great to have followed by a camera for a period of time (Byfuglien, Wheeler, Thorburn for starters)
But as I see it, there are three issues with this dream that will likely (not for sure granted) keep something like this from being reality:
1 – Players like their privacy. Imagine what you yourself would feel like if you had a video camera following you and your family around for hours on end. Not only that, but then that video goes out to millions of people who then discuss that life through all sorts of forms of social media. Would be a bit unsettling wouldn’t it? It would get even worse if said player says or does something that would put him a less than ideal light. It’s a lot of extra pressure thrown on a player for no other reason than to make fans happy. (Which you can say is a good enough reason but that’s another debate for another day)
2 – The cost involved in producing these types of shows – hiring the camera crews to do hours of work, editing involved, voice-over work is fairly high when you consider the ratings that they get now compared to a handful of years ago when this genre of sports reality programming first hit the scene and was fresh and fans were into it. Now the only people who tune into these shows are mostly fans of said team and for a team like the Jets where the fan base is relatively small compared to a larger Canadian or American market the cost to produce against the money brought in from ad revenue for the show based on ratings would be lopsided.
3 – Fans and media alike didn’t give True North Sports and Entertainment the moniker of “cone of silence” because the organization is overly forthcoming with information and details about every aspect of when they do behind closed doors. The message is very much controlled and I don’t see them willing to have cameras lurking around with “free access” around arena or the practice facilities.
Never say never, but I think the Jets would be in the bottom five of NHL teams I would ever expect to see have 24/7 type series done about them.
@NHLJetsNation Who are you and what have you done with the real Alexander Burmistrov?
— Philip Iver (@PhilipAIver) February 22, 2016
Over the weekend, our fearless leader tweeted the following…
“Somebody that I used to know” pic.twitter.com/yQojWqZvYC
— Garret Hohl (@GarretHohl) February 19, 2016
Very depressing. Of course people had questions…
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) February 19, 2016
I am in the same boat as Garett is in trying to figure out just where things went wrong with Burmistrov as his season has been a bit of a disappointment, but I’m ready to fight anyone who would suggest that at this point he is a ‘bust’ of any kind.
First the ‘what happened’ part: I think it’s a combination of having spent two years in Russia where the game is played at a different (and slightly lower) level and how Burmi spent the first 20 to 25 games or so of the season readjusting to the speed and skill of the NHL game. I don’t know how much more different his usage has been this year compared to his last NHL season under the guidance of Claude Noel, but I suspect he’s still being leaned on to be more of a defensive forward with the ability to create chances on offense. Part of the problem as well is while Burmi can seemingly stick handle in a phone booth (kids, a phone booth was a small, narrow closet-like room where.. ya know what, just go ask your parents) he hasn’t shot with the frequency that I think a lot of fans would have liked to see.
That all said he’s seen more than enough time on the ice with the likes of Chris Thorburn and Adam Lowry this season and they aren’t going to be confused with offensive dynamos themselves so I feel that’s one thing that has brought his own numbers down. Keep in mind as well he’s 24 and still got a few seasons before he enters that “in his prime’ part of his career.
These are just a few theories anyway. Are the shots he’s taking not as high a quality? Are opposing teams playing him different than they did when he was first in Winnipeg? There could be more than a handful of different reasons as to why he hasn’t produced as well as he has in the past or as well as any of us had hoped.
He can skate well, has great hands and is smart on the defensive end of things, so put him with some slightly better line-mates next season, give him a second year under Paul Maurice and knowing what to expect going forward and I think the numbers get better.