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Nashville Predators Launch "Beneath the Ice" This Friday with James Neal Mini-Doc

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HBO 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic isn't happening this year, so look to individual franchises attempting to capture the zeitgeist for unscripted coverage of players and teams for your behind-the-scenes documentaries this year. The Nashville Predators kick things off this Friday with an episode about new alternate captain James Neal, acquired via trade last summer at the 2014 NHL entry draft in exchange for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN--Nashville Predators forward James Neal celebrates his goal during the third period against Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on October 17, 2014. Nashville wins 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN--Nashville Predators forward James Neal celebrates his goal during the third period against Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on October 17, 2014. Nashville wins 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Just one day before James Neal Bobblehead Night™ at Bridgestone Arena, and his former Pittsburgh Penguins descend on Lower Broadway to square off against the team that knows how many career goals Nick Spaling actually has, the Nashville Predators will air the first installment of "Beneath the Ice," featuring Neal and his longtime friend Rich Clune (it's a Rich Clune Show, y'all), this Friday, October 24 at 10:00 a.m. Central on the team's website. Here's a quick preview that also aired on the Megatron during Tuesday night's game against the Arizona Coyotes this week:

And here's a clip of James Neal talking about driving around Nashville:

Here's a video of the production of Beneath the Ice, courtesy of Rich Clune's iPhone:

The James Neal Show

A video posted by Rich Clune (@richcluneshow) on

We'll have to see how the series progresses, but this is obviously a great way to keep fans engaged on off nights. Regarding this particular episode, I caught up with Clune and Neal at the Peterson Foundation for Parkinsons annual "Petey's Preds Party" dinner in September, and they have some pretty good stories to tell from their days together in the Dallas Stars organization...

This one's for you @annemarieclune. I caught up with @richcluneshow and @jneal_18 at #Preds charity event.

A photo posted by George Scoville (@stackiii) on

I haven't seen hair that pretty since Michael Del Zotto wore a gold sweater. Neal and Clune clean up pretty well, too.