Behind the Screens with the Dallas Stars: MVP (Most Valuable Puck)
It is hockey tradition that the three stars of each evening’s match are recognized by the fans. One at a time, each star takes a step back onto the ice and raises his stick to salute the fans who remain in attendance after the final buzzer.
In the Dallas Stars’ control room, the entertainment team holds a similar tradition. While their recognition of each game’s MVP happens before the next game, the idea is the same.
A game puck is delivered to the team member who made the biggest impact on the success of the previous game. On this night, the recognition goes to Crossfire Operator Kevin Harp.
“He was a preparation rock star leading up to Opening Night,” Jason Danby said. “He’s leading and managing a group of young editors that look to him for guidance and he is teaching them the ropes.”
Harp is tasked with carrying out the direction of the content and sending it to the arena displays, something that comes with significant stakes.
“Technical directing is high-pressure because you are pressing every button that goes out to potentially 18,000 fans,” Producer and Editor Hunter Harrington said. “Every mistake, people can see and they know that you messed up. So, you almost have to perform at 100 percent.”
Ultimately it falls on Harp to execute, but he feels that each teammate’s unique strengths make his job easier.
“I’m lucky to be part of a very talented team. We are all very good and specialized in different ways. When you put it all together it’s a pretty cool thing we’ve got going on,” he said.
There might not be 18,000 fans cheering him on as he receives his nightly award the way that the ‘first star’ of the game experiences, but throughout the event, each fans shows his or her recognition by their responsiveness to the content Harp and the entertainment team creates.
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