Confidential: HBO “24/7″ Spoilers

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HBO 24/7 Maple Leafs-Red Wings
Photo: HuffingtonPost.com

What we consider to be “reality” television is far less real than you might think. Events depicted as authentic human drama are often at least partially scripted, with larger narratives and plotlines frequently influenced by hidden teams of experienced writers and producers. Rare is the day that the tribe actually does the speaking.

Gripping and authentic as it may seem, HBO’s 24/7 series is no different. The purported documentary is designed to provide a look behind the scenes at hockey players fighting their way through early-season challenges on the road to the famed Winter Classic. A series of storylines are portrayed around that journey, to ramp up the drama and tone down the mundane doldrums of the NHL lifestyle.

As luck would have it, we managed to get our hands on several early script drafts that reveal some of these secret, carefully-crafted plots. Read on as we reveal some of the highlights we found: details about upcoming episodes, surprising twists that have happened behind this season’s public-facing media stories, and even a few plot ideas that may have been axed for time and won’t appear in the finished cut.

SPOILERS.

  • After David Clarkson begins his tenure as a Maple Leaf with an optics-deflating suspension, the MLSE PR team abandons plans for their #Clarksonofabitch social media campaign. The decision secretly pleases at least one member of the Leafs’ senior staff, who says the hashtag always sounded too much like “some JFJ-era European draft pick that didn’t pan out” anyways.
  • Cody Franson defies the conventional laws of physics by ripping a 108mph slap shot with a paradoxically absent windup. This tears a hole in the space-time continuum and sends him into a never-ending loop where—no matter how great his performance is—he wakes up every September with yet another one-year contract.
  • A heated debate between the Leafs’ coaching staff about the usefulness of advanced stats ends pretty definitively when Randy Carlyle points out, “The Allies took Omaha beach with maybe the worst CORSI imaginable, and LOOK AT HOW THAT TURNED OUT!”
  • Wayne Gretzky attends a secret meeting at TSN to discuss joining the broadcaster’s last ditch effort to combat Rogers’ growing monopoly of hockey coverage in Canada. Gretzky tries to sneak out of the building and accidentally bumps into analyst Kerry Fraser. The former referee laments, “Whoa, I didn’t see you.” Gretzky smiles knowingly and keeps walking.
  • The first goal of the Winter Classic is scored by Jay McClement with assists from Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, prompting the first onscreen, open-mouthed kiss in thirty years between Don Cherry and a too-slow-to-possibly-resist Ron MacLean.
  • In an unprecedented development, a select group of Maple Leaf bloggers are awarded full press access to the Air Canada Centre. An utterly unbelievable plot twist follows: they’re friendly, respectful, and the free coverage they provide is excellent.
  • Randy Carlyle is given a verbal warning about his job performance by Dave Nonis. This happens after it’s revealed the coach actually spends most of his time writing Warner Bros. and asking them to reconsider casting Mikhail Grabovski as Batman, a difficult role in which the player has no interest, experience, or chance of success.
  • Phil Kessel’s mystery ailment is revealed: like frequent linemates Lupul and van Riemsdyk, he’s suffering from a sporadic back injury most likely caused by the amount of time spent carrying Tyler Bozak on it.
  • During a visit to Detroit, Philadelphia Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren is forced to apply a 2013 roster update to his copy of NHL ’08 on a hotel Xbox, notices the change in several players’ overall ratings, and suddenly realizes what a colossal series of mistakes he’s made.
  • The Leafs’ atrocious possession stats lead to the coining of the term “puck none-ies.” It doesn’t catch on like it should.
  • Attempting to set a new precedent for the digital era, Cliff Fletcher sues multiple internet commenters for what he calls their “slanderous, egregiously harsh, and totally misinformed negative reviews of last summer’s Man of Steel.”
  • As part of HBO’s ongoing competition with Netflix, Kevin Spacey is cast as a diabolical executive who manoeuvres politically through the league executive branch to guarantee that events transpire to his advantage. Unfortunately, he’s promptly replaced when critics deem him “not quite old or skeletony enough to play Mr. Jacobs.”
  • Mark Fraser and Frazer MacLaren erupt in a cement-shattering locker room fistfight after a prolonged argument over which one of them is spelling their name correctly. It ends in an awkward handshake when a member of the 24/7 crew points out how many Emmys “Frasier” won.
  • Video of Nazem Kadri’s hearing with Brendan Shanahan is finally revealed. The Leaf forward pleads “not Gionta” immediately before his totally-consistent-with-the-past three-game suspension is handed down.
  • NHL coaches are encouraged to join Twitter to enhance the fans’ experience by posting mid-game, a suggestion which is misunderstood by Randy Carlyle, who stubbornly refuses to do anything but retweet whatever that night’s opposing coach says.
  • Tim Lieweke orchestrates a midseason trade for Dustin Brown. He convinces Dean Lombardi by telling him, “I didn’t say don’t trade Dustin Brown. I said, you won’t trade Dustin Brown. I was daring you.”
  • The Randy Carlyle Twitter thing two lines ago was a matchup joke. I’m not entirely confident in its execution, so I’m just checking back in to make sure you got it.
  • Steve Carrell appears as a surprise guest star in the 24/7 Winter Classic finale, but only for about four minutes, because he doesn’t want to overshadow everyone else. Which is strange, because market research suggests that literally every single viewer would have been totally fine with that.
  • In the post-Christmas matchup between Buffalo and Toronto, John Scott obliterates James van Riemsdyk with an experimental electromagnetic pulse rifle. This is deemed a good hockey play under NHL rules, since the deadly radiating projectile technically touches the puck first.
  • Every Paul Ranger mention, segment, or interview inexplicably ends with “to be continued.”
  • sniperstar

    LOL! Great post. Lovely way to lighten the mood after that catastrophe yesterday.

  • Jmessih

    So TSN’s insiders reported Leafs and Dion close to a 7 x 7 extension, I’m cool with that, except with Dion’s offensive numbers dropping that could be slightly costly, i’d love a 6.5 again…

  • T K O

    Curious to know what the hate on Burke has with Baertschi…… I don’t follow Calgary that much but he’s looked pretty good to me.

  • vinoa

    “The Allies took Omaha beach with maybe the worst CORSI imaginable, and LOOK AT HOW THAT TURNED OUT!”…I love the Carlyleisms

  • JayDubs8

    That was really great. I needed a laugh after last nights game, thanks.

  • Jmessih

    T K O Not the greatest in his own zone and a lack of compete is what people are saying, and you can see a bit of it when you watch but, still on that roster I’d have the kid up, it is not like he does not try, Calgary might ruin another one here. I think he nailed it spot on by saying they can’t draft, since the year 2000 their drafting has been horrible, only really liked Dion out of that group.

  • Jmessih

    I know that cap is going up but I think Dion should get slightly less than 7 mil

  • MaxwellHowe

    “not Gionta”.  Brilliant

  • .JVR.

    Jmessih 

    I actually don’t mind the $7 million part, but am worried about the 7 years part.
    Dion will be 36 by then, but I guess the Salary Cap will be over $100 by then, so it might actually be OK.

    Either way, the media is gonna rip this deal apart, haha.

  • .JVR.

    vinoa 
    That was my favourite part too, lol.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/reporterchrishttps://twitter.com/reporterchris/status/411548955890044929
    No discipline hearing has been scheduled for https://twitter.com/search?q=%23leafs&src=hash David Clarkson following last night’s head hit on https://twitter.com/search?q=%23stlblues&src=hash Vladimir Sobotka.

  • Jmessih

    rustynail Anyone have a video of this? Would like to see it.

  • .JVR.

    rustynail 
    Wow, that’s a huge surprise to me!

  • vji67

    rustynail League probably felt bad about how badly we got spanked last night and wanted to throw us a bone :-/

  • Greg Fenton

    Jmessih He is picking the wrong year to not produce points and basically be a stay-at-home guy.

  • Jmessih

    vji67 rustynail With how Clarkson has been playing they thought it would be better to keep him in the line up……lol I kid!!

  • vji67

    Jmessih vji67 rustynail  Hahaha kinda sadly true

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    .JVR. Jmessih If DIon were paired with someone other than Gunnarsson, he’d be putting up bigger numbers. He’s playing the best defensive hockey of his career.

  • rustynail

    .JVR. rustynail I thought 2 for sure

  • rustynail

    TheCanucksnaphook good he is signing for a discount

  • Mind Bomb

    rustynail TheCanucksnaphook  Some might not think so, but you are right Rusty

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook You have control of the checkbook now?  Please rescind Christmas bonuses for Nonis and Carlyle.

  • Greg Fenton

    DeclanK .JVR. Jmessih Would he, or is the good defense coming at the expense of his offense? Hes played with Gunnerson a lot since he joined the Leafs and it never affected his offensive numbers like this before. 47 point pace last year, 44 points the year before that. A 38 point pace (with 10 goals) in 10-11. 

    Both Stevens and Chelios (the two big names that come to mind) were big offensive producers early in their careers, and then they switched into more defensive minded players at the expense of their offense

  • Jmessih

    Greg Fenton Jmessih Yes that is my point, based on this and the fact that his offense has slightly declined over the last few years, big time this year. Most stay at home D don’t get anywhere near tht much money. Dion is more than a stay at home D but his numbers are not going to be that high anymore, Nonis should try and use that and save us a little money.

  • sniperstar

    rustynail It’s a miracle!

  • mlclearwater

    TheCanucksnaphook There’s nothing wrong with those numbers, of course all leafs fans would like him to sign for less, but he could get significantly more on the open market. I like Phan and hope he signs a deal close to this. Or 8 years at 1 million per

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook MaxwellHowe Nonis is a back channel? Who the fack is running that team anyway?  Its still Pat Quinn in charge, isn’t it?

  • rustynail

    Mind Bomb rustynail TheCanucksnaphook He would get much more than that on the open market IMO

  • Black_Hawk

    Jmessih hopefully he signs soon then

  • Jmessih

    https://twitter.com/mirtlehttps://twitter.com/mirtle/status/411553231014072322
    Monster to start Winter Classic vs Leafs? RT https://twitter.com/tkulfan: Jimmy Howard with Grade 1 MCL sprain..out 2-4 weeks per Ken Holland.

  • rustynail

    CanuckUKinToronto rustynail .JVR. looked so similar to 1 that was just handed out

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook MaxwellHowe you’ve probably said too much

  • vinoa

    Jmessih T K O No kidding. Just checked out their draft history. Most notable players I saw were Lombardi, Prust, and of course Phaneuf. That’s just sad.

  • Jmessih

    TheCanucksnaphook Jmessih He has been huge for them this year.

  • mlclearwater

    TheCanucksnaphook mlclearwater Just a joke, for all the leafs fans who think he is worth trading only

  • rustynail

    Jmessih TheCanucksnaphook yup he has

  • Jmessih

    vinoa Jmessih T K O That is like 10 plus years of drafting, what a fucking joke

  • reenergized

    TheCanucksnaphook Jmessih You know he is going to stand on his head … so our strategy should be to shoot wide and hope he knocks it into his own net :)

  • Jmessih

    CanuckUKinToronto Greg Fenton Jmessih Yes but do you see only shut down d getting 7 mil?

  • mlclearwater

    TheCanucksnaphook mlclearwater Sorry im sarcastic as fuck and electronic communications don’t convey sarcasm very well

  • Greg Fenton

    Bruffins Greg Fenton DeclanK .JVR. Jmessih I think Phaneuf and Gunneron are the only ones really struggling to put offense. 

    As you said, Frason is doing just fine. I know people expected more from Gardiner, but his last NHL season he put up 30 points, he is now on pace for 26, I dunno if I’d call a 4 point drop struggling. Rielly is a rookie. Ranger is a few (5-6 ish I think) off his norm but that he also took 3 year offs…

    Who you play with will affect how you produce and play, but I also disagree with putting ALL the blame on another player. Ultimately its on Phaneuf, and he hasn’t had trouble produing with Gunnerson in the past.

  • Mind Bomb

    rustynail Mind Bomb TheCanucksnaphook  For sure bro

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Greg Fenton Bruffins DeclanK .JVR. Jmessih 

    Look up Gunnarsson’s shots stats, then look at his production this year. He’s clearly struggling offensively.

  • Greg Fenton

    CanuckUKinToronto Greg Fenton Jmessih But if he isn’t going to produce offensively I don’t think they can afford to pay him like a top 10 D_man in the league, like he wants.

  • mcloki

    IS Clarkson getting a suspension for his hit last night? Haven’t heard a thing

  • Airfreshener

    TheCanucksnaphook huh…

  • Jmessih

    mcloki Nope, no hearing

  • mcloki

    Jmessih mcloki Phone call. Harsh e-mail anything?

  • Jmessih

    mcloki Jmessih Nope, they will make us suffer by keeping him in the line up

  • LFSFN1

    tmlfanfury just wasted 5 minutes of my day…