NHL: “Quest for the Stanley Cup” Series Returns to ESPN+
The National Hockey League and ESPN+ Originals have teamed up again for Quest For The Stanley Cup™, the groundbreaking behind-the-scenes documentary series chronicling the remaining eight vying for the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup. ESPN Front Row caught up with Torey Champagne, the lead ESPN producer working on Quest for the Stanley Cup and P.K.’s Places, to hear what it’s been like working on hockey originals this year.
What’s it like working with the NHL on Quest for the Stanley Cup?
To truly capture the essence of an all-access series like Quest for the Stanley Cup takes a talented team of producers strategizing around which storylines to cover, dedicated crews filming behind the scenes both on and off the ice and an edit team that can work quickly and efficiently to craft a compelling narrative.
The production is fast-paced with some very long nights, but the passion and commitment of everyone working together to create a look inside the Stanley Cup playoffs is remarkable. We’re incredibly proud of the collaborative spirit and commitment by everyone involved.
Being able to deliver this series for ESPN+ Original is a testament to the tremendous partnership we have with the NHL, along with the support and leadership of Lindsay Rovegno and Brian Lockhart.
Are you taking a different approach this season? What are some of your favorite moments from the show?
Leading up to the playoffs there were so many intriguing storylines, we all agreed it had to feel bigger than ever before.
We aligned creatively with the NHL to identify unique behind-the-scenes access with star players, as well as more mic’ed up moments from games. We also worked with programming to increase the length of the episodes and provide content on linear platforms so fans have more opportunities to see their favorite teams highlighted in the series.
All the pre-production paid off when we were able to kick-off Episode 1 with Connor McDavid, one of the NHL’s biggest stars, and his teammates leading up to game time, getting a rare glimpse into his time off the ice.
You’re working on a lot of hockey between this and P.K.’s Places, which also recently debuted on ESPN+. What surprised you about hockey or joy you’ve found working on these projects?
The NHL playoffs provide a great opportunity for ESPN+ Originals to tell some amazing stories with Quest for the Cup.
Working with P.K. Subban on P.K.’s Places let’s us share the history of hockey. Producer Ashley Bembry-Kaintuck and AP Kyle Van Dam have been instrumental in the production of the series, and oversaw the filming of an episode on the ESPN campus, which featured Chris Chelios challenging P.K. to a hardest shot competition.
Working with P.K. and seeing the energy and passion he has for hockey, as well as collaborating on the creative with the NHL has been a blast.