JUST SAYING: THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER THING

Robin Brownlee
April 21 2011 02:36PM

One big positive about the possibility of the Phoenix Coyotes returning to Winnipeg is that Edmonton would no longer be perceived by players as the second-least desirable destination in the NHL, which it now is.

Loud and proud Edmontonians don't like that perception, but civic pride doesn't make it any less true or any less rampant among NHL players, all of whom get a choice of where they play as unrestricted free agents.

Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, fresh from costing himself millions of dollars in contract money as a pending unrestricted free agent with a Swiss cheese impression against the Detroit Red Wings, stuck the blade into Winnipeg good and deep, then twisted, when talking to reporters after what stands to be the last NHL game in Phoenix Wednesday.

What Bryzgalov, the Knob Hockey hero but series zero, said about the city of Winnipeg was every bit as unflattering as the NHLPA survey of last January in which 20 per cent of 318 players polled rated Edmonton as the place where they'd least like to play. The New York Islanders finished at the bottom of the destination barrel at 27 per cent.

STRAIGHT TALK

"You don't want to go to Winnipeg, right?" Bryzgalov said after the Coyotes lost to Detroit. "Not many people live there, not many Russian people there. Plus it's cold. There's no excitement except the hockey. No park, no entertaining for the families, for the kids. It's going to be tough life for your family.

"I've been there for just once, maybe twice, when I play in minors. It was really cold," Bryzgalov said. "I used the tunnels between the buildings to get to the arena. Because it was minus 40-something. Real cold."

Winnipeg, like Edmonton, has geography, size and climate going against it. On top of that, Winnipeg has a small building, while Edmonton has an old building. Neither city is seen as a bustling and thriving metropolitan destination compared to Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto or several US markets.

Winnipeg is a damn good hockey town, just like this neck of the woods is. But, if Winnipeg does return to the NHL, it'll be just as hard-pressed to attract quality free agents as Edmonton has been during its five straight years out of the playoffs and back-to-back 30th-place finishes.

Building a winning franchise will help mitigate the negatives -- it works just fine in Detroit -- but that, obviously, will take time, whether you're talking about Winnipeg or Edmonton.

I'd rather spend vacation time, and do, in Scottsdale or Glendale or greater Phoenix than in Winnipeg, but I hope the Jets are back. The NHL needs good hockey towns.

WHILE I'M AT IT

-- While I don't expect him to cough up the Oilers draft list before the scouting staff meets and gets on the same page, I'm going to put in a call to Stu MacGregor in the next few days. Lots of takes on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the other top prospects around here. I want his.

-- Does the math still love Dustin Penner more than old school reporters do? I'm not seeing any underlying numbers to mitigate the no-show he's pulled after a promising start with the Los Angeles Kings. Unsurprising.

-- Same thing when it comes to getting a handle on Colten Teubert. I'll try to get Kevin Lowe's take on Teubert, although his look at him has been limited by an injury that's kept him out of the Hamilton series.

-- Cameron Abney got an entry-level deal from the Oilers today. Big kid might be a factor in the Oilers bottom-six mix in a year or two if he picks up another step and puts some meat on the big frame of his.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Nail Yakupov
April 21 2011, 02:38PM
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Fist. I felt no emotion after the Penner trade; it's hard to miss the gentle giant. Nice to see the Abney signing. I like how our bottom 6 is going to look in the future, good size and skill.

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#2 Conan
April 21 2011, 02:44PM
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The location portion of the argument doesn't really hold up when you take the fact that the Islanders are at the bottom of the barrel.

What millionaire hockey players doesn't want to live in New York?

I think that the absolute #1 factor in whether players want to play somewhere is how well a franchise is run and how successful it is.

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#3 Spydyr
April 21 2011, 02:53PM
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Me thinks KLowe being here might have some bearing on why Edmonton ended up second last on the poll. Go Jets.....hope they bring Dale Hawerchuk back in some form......if the move does transpire.

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#4 Rick
April 21 2011, 02:58PM
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Prior to the end of the lockout and KLowe declaring the Oilers open for UFA business I seem to recall Edmonton the city not being much of an issue with most of the guys leaving town. It was generally an Oilers bank account issue over and above everything else.

I even seem to remember more than a few guys showing genuine emotion when the their time to leave arrived.

The Oilers lost the plot after the lockout by chasing whales, hopefully they learned their lesson and in a few years Edmonton won't look quite so undesireable anymore from more than a few different angles.

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#5 Mantastic
April 21 2011, 02:58PM
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i thought teubert was a pretty good catalyst for the OKC playoffs before he got injuried. he was a healthy scratch for game 1 same with zorgs, i do believe and they were brought back for game 2 + 3 and changed the dynamics of the series. from what i've seen/heard/read he's plays with a real mean streak.

and i hope when the coyotes move back to winnipeg, they will be renamed to the Manitoba Phoenixs, because it would kind of be funny.

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#6 Spydyr
April 21 2011, 03:01PM
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Also it was nice to see Oklahoma win 5-2 last night with Omark grabbing a goal and an assist.Hope they go all the way to the Calder cup. The experience will do the kids a world of good. Lord knows the organisation needs a winner somewhere.

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#7 Reality Check to the head
April 21 2011, 03:05PM
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I would love to see the Jets back, Phoenix does not deserve to have a franchise, based on the lack of fans, artificial economy (tourism and retirement, not industry) and location of the Arena.

Oilers need to get a new arena, with a number of neat perks for the players. MArk Cuban made player dressing room stalls state of the art and large (video games etc...). Things like this will help to make Edmonton an attractive option to players.

Also, if the Oilers want to attract stars they simply need to get better and create a winning tradition. I dont even want to visit Detroit, let alone live there. I do not blame players for wanting to play elsewhere for a chance to win a cup.

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#8 lenny
April 21 2011, 03:07PM
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Back in the 80 players were dying to play in Edmonton and then K. Lowe came to town. Remember that RB. You are going to talk to K.Lowe? Ask him one thing for me please" When is he going to leave town so free agents would want to come to town?" Would you please do that for all of us? Please!!!!

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#9 Mitch
April 21 2011, 03:14PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Me thinks KLowe being here might have some bearing on why Edmonton ended up second last on the poll. Go Jets.....hope they bring Dale Hawerchuk back in some form......if the move does transpire.

I agree, look at Lowes managing style. Mike Comrie wanted out, Lowe had a deal done but wanted the bonus money back, players aren't stupid. Doug Wieght what happened there? The Ryan Smyth contract talks and then to rip the heart right outta the guy at the deadline. It was a great run in 06, give the guy some credit. Would someone please explain why he's still part of the organization and give a better answer then the first ever draft pick and the glory years please. Lets not forget when he ripped Burkes choice of Bobby Ryan #2 overall in 05 in a public fued with Burke over Penner contract, Ryans not a bad player in my opinion. If you were a player would you want to become part of a mess?

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#10 Spydyr
April 21 2011, 03:17PM
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Lowe is in tight with Katz A.K.A.Batman. Don't think Lowe is going anywhere soon and to answer your question .That is why he is still here.

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#11 9 Inches Uncut
April 21 2011, 03:18PM
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Eventually, players will have to come to the realization that they have to play in places where hockey can make money or they won't be playing at all.

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#12 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 21 2011, 03:19PM
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lenny wrote:

Back in the 80 players were dying to play in Edmonton and then K. Lowe came to town. Remember that RB. You are going to talk to K.Lowe? Ask him one thing for me please" When is he going to leave town so free agents would want to come to town?" Would you please do that for all of us? Please!!!!

You might want to double check the list of players that split in the 80's.

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#13 jeanshorts
April 21 2011, 03:19PM
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Everyone loves this nostalgic feeling when talking about the Jets, and I enjoy it a bit myself. Who doesn't like that jersey and color scheme, or remembering Selanne shoot his glove out of the air. But I honestly don't see what is making people think this is going to be a slam dunk and the team is going to stay in Winnipeg forever. How is Winnipeg much different this time around than it was 13 years ago? Smallest building in the league? Check. Mediocre economy? Check. Middle of the pack team? Check.

Winnipeggers will obviously be incredibly excited to have NHL hockey back in their arctic town. Let's be generous and say for the first two seasons they sell out every game. Great. But what about 3, 4 years down the road when the team keeps piling up 9th place finishes and first round playoff exits. Are the fans going to still be as rabidly interested in a bubble team? And with inflation it's way more expensive to go to a hockey game than it was 13 years ago. So again with the economy in the crapper how's that going to help? I understand it's an awesome hockey town and a loyal fan base, but does any of that matter when people can't afford to go to the games?

It's fun to relive the 90's and those feelings of nostalgia are awesome. I'm sure it'll be really fun to see a team in Winnipeg again and watch a legit hockey fan base actually fill the building most nights. But I honestly don't think it's going to be any different than what just happened in Phoenix. Is it really worth relocating a team just to have them move again in 8, 9, 10 years? (Not that I think there should be a team in Phoenix, I don't). I don't think so. Hopefully I'm wrong and this potential Winnipeg team will stand strong and proud for the foreseeable future, and it'll be awesome and fun for everybody. I won't hold my breath though.

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#14 Team Couturier
April 21 2011, 03:21PM
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So the Phoenix doesnt really rise from the ashes after all. The Manitoba Coyotes has a nice ring to it. I hope we dont cheap out on the arena to stay in budget, I want state of the art, best in the league. The downtown is starting to take shape. SC will look mighty good on the top line in the Oilerdome for many years to come.

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#15 esa tikkanen
April 21 2011, 03:25PM
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Robin

I think Teubert played game 2 and 3 of this series in OKC. Missed game 1 as a healthy scratch and got injured in game 3. Apparently played very well in both games.

Did you get a chance to find out from Whitney or anyone else the likeliness of 100% healthy feet going forward?

thanks

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#16 lenny
April 21 2011, 03:28PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

You might want to double check the list of players that split in the 80's.

How many examples would you like just to prove the point that players that you are talking about are an exception that proves the rule? Read all the comments above and imagine that we are all stupid and you are the only smart one here.

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#17 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 21 2011, 03:37PM
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lenny wrote:

How many examples would you like just to prove the point that players that you are talking about are an exception that proves the rule? Read all the comments above and imagine that we are all stupid and you are the only smart one here.

The players I am talking about are the exception to the rule?

We could fill a wing of the HHOF with players that were happy to bolt from the Oilers in the 80's.

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#18 Ned Braden
April 21 2011, 03:39PM
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I would have to disagree with the comments on here stating that players don't want to come to Edmonton because of KLowe. How much interaction do you think he has with players on a daily basis now? I would guess he didn't speak to most guys on the team more than twice all season.

I was born and raised here but if someone offered me the same money to do the same job and live the same lifestyle in Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida or any place warm and sunny year round I would be out of here in a second!

NHL players that have no bond to the city (family, friends etc), why would they move here when you can go somewhere else and do the exact same thing and make the same money. There would only be one reason - TO WIN. Edmonton will always have a hard time attracting and retaining top end talent but winning is the only thing that will help.

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#19 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 21 2011, 03:44PM
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Ned Braden wrote:

I would have to disagree with the comments on here stating that players don't want to come to Edmonton because of KLowe. How much interaction do you think he has with players on a daily basis now? I would guess he didn't speak to most guys on the team more than twice all season.

I was born and raised here but if someone offered me the same money to do the same job and live the same lifestyle in Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida or any place warm and sunny year round I would be out of here in a second!

NHL players that have no bond to the city (family, friends etc), why would they move here when you can go somewhere else and do the exact same thing and make the same money. There would only be one reason - TO WIN. Edmonton will always have a hard time attracting and retaining top end talent but winning is the only thing that will help.

No doubt, it's a weak, weak excuse for the Lowe haters to cling too.

One of the few guys that actually had legit reason to be pissed at Lowe came back when Lowe was here, so I doubt the other 99% that have no reason too would really care who the president is.

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#20 Crooked
April 21 2011, 04:09PM
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Winnipeg isn't a bad place to live at all. It's freezing cold in January-February, but it's Canada, wear an f'n sweater. If you're making $1-7 million I'm sure you can afford to buy yourself a warm jacket, some mittens and a tuque.

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#21 Dman09
April 21 2011, 04:12PM
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What? did someone say they need to make the place of work more attractive for players. I'm sorry but anyone making multi millions a years doesn't need to be pampered by the team. I think the players, teams, and fans forget that these guys are getting paid huge amounts of money to play a game while the majority of society has to work hard 5+ days a week, min of 8 hours a day, and only get paid a fraction of what these guys get. Even a low end player makes approx $700k. How many professions do you know that have an annual salary anywhere near this?

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#22 wyseguy
April 21 2011, 04:16PM
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I've coached hockey with a recently retired NHL player the last few years. He's told me that players definitely take into account the city when they choose which team to play for and Edmonton is usually at the bottom of their list. He said that the Oilers have to pay a big premium to get players to come.

I know you've all heard this info already, but since a couple of comments above wondered if the city of Edmonton was really an issue.........well, in the eyes of an NHL millionaire it is.

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#23 Dan the Man
April 21 2011, 04:25PM
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Maybe someone should inform Bryzgalov that if more NHL cities were like Phoenix his salary would be more comparable to an AHL salary than the boat load of cash he's being paid now.

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#24 Robin Brownlee
April 21 2011, 04:30PM
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@Dman09

Teams that treat "pampered" players better increase their chances of attracting the best players.

If you're going to get your money no matter which one of the 30 teams you play for, then it comes down to other factors when you become an unrestricted free agent -- chance to win, quality of life, travel, climate etc.

What does the reality of every Joe Grunt and working stiff out there have to do with anything?

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#25 Ned Braden
April 21 2011, 04:43PM
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Crooked wrote:

Winnipeg isn't a bad place to live at all. It's freezing cold in January-February, but it's Canada, wear an f'n sweater. If you're making $1-7 million I'm sure you can afford to buy yourself a warm jacket, some mittens and a tuque.

And if I was making $1 - $7 million and got to choose to live in Tampa Bay, Miami, LA, Anahiem, San Jose, Atlanta, Dallas, New York .... etc. Why would I choose to live in Winnipeg? The only reason I would live in Winnipeg was if it increased my odds of winning the Stanley Cup and even then it had better increase them significantly for me to move there of if they paid me significantly more than anybody else.

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#26 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 21 2011, 04:52PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"-- While I don't expect him to cough up the Oilers draft list before the scouting staff meets and gets on the same page, I'm going to put in a call to Stu MacGregor in the next few days. Lots of takes on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the other top prospects around here. I want his."

In the words of Kenny Powers, "FINALLY, MOTHERF***ER!!"

Would be nice for Stu to give you enough to write an entire piece on. Although I'm confident you can make it work either way.

Really looking forward to this!

#GoHawks

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#27 The Real Scuba Steve
April 21 2011, 04:58PM
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So who is really in charge Tambo or KLowe?

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#28 Dman09
April 21 2011, 04:59PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Easy, without them and their support for the sport of hockey they wouldn't be making thier multimillions. If fans stopped going to NHL games teams would not be able to pay the players the salaries they are getting now because there would be no use for the team.

Thats reality, the only reason they get to play the game as a profession is because of the fans. Without them they would be playing in beer leagues after working their day jobs.

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#29 Oilcruzer
April 21 2011, 05:09PM
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If a team is successful, the location has very little to do with players wanting to come or not.

If a team sucks, this weighs very heavily on whether players want to play there or not.

Who wanted to play for Pittsburgh or Chicago before the lockout?

Who didn't want to play for NYI in the 80's? Now no one wants to play there? Obviously it isn't the location...

...the location falls on the "other factors" heading.

I.E. All things being equal, where would you want to play?

If I were a younger talent (under 30), I'd look at a team like Edmonton in a year or two.

I wouldn't look at Ottawa or Calgary...

...or Florida or Columbus - warm places with no foreseeable plan to compete.

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#30 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 21 2011, 05:10PM
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Also, I wonder if anyone has asked Larsson directly about why his numbers are down this year. People always question his offense. Why not question him directly.

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#31 Peterborough
April 21 2011, 05:12PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Teams that treat "pampered" players better increase their chances of attracting the best players.

If you're going to get your money no matter which one of the 30 teams you play for, then it comes down to other factors when you become an unrestricted free agent -- chance to win, quality of life, travel, climate etc.

What does the reality of every Joe Grunt and working stiff out there have to do with anything?

Nice article RB. I love E city. I love Whyte Av. But anyone who thinks a player would choose to play here over LA or Tampa everything else being equal is crazy. However Winipeg is the WORST city close a mil in Canada. Bad crime no real money and its in Manitoba the worst province in Canada. Its a hole, period. The Native problem there is out of this would and no one has a clue what to do about it. Its a sad fact that the government has abused them for years and now its such a mess there that you have town like Thompson that are a-kin to third world living.

Edmonton will seem like shangra-la compared to. It's like standing next to a bunch of fat guys at the bar, hot by comparison.

PS I'd apologize to anyone who lives there, but you know as well as I do, its the sad truth.

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#32 Crooked
April 21 2011, 05:15PM
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Ned Braden wrote:

And if I was making $1 - $7 million and got to choose to live in Tampa Bay, Miami, LA, Anahiem, San Jose, Atlanta, Dallas, New York .... etc. Why would I choose to live in Winnipeg? The only reason I would live in Winnipeg was if it increased my odds of winning the Stanley Cup and even then it had better increase them significantly for me to move there of if they paid me significantly more than anybody else.

Hockey is about winning. Have you ever been to Detroit? It's the biggest craphole on the continent, yet they get any and every free agent they want, well below market value. No one moves to Detroit because it's a beautiful city, they go there to win. Pittsburgh is a god awful place to be too.

Atlanta is a terrible example, look at all of the elite players they've had who've bolted out of town as quick as they could? No one stays there no matter how much money the team throws at them. Same with Florida and NYI. Even Nashville can't attract big name free agents.

If you're a pro athlete and care more about the weather than winning, you need to retire and make room for someone who is there to play hard and win, wherever that may be.

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#33 packontop
April 21 2011, 05:44PM
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look at the Green Bay Packers. small town and cold. that's the way you do it.

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#34 packontop
April 21 2011, 05:46PM
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look at the Green Bay Packers. small town and cold. that's the way you do it.

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#36 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 21 2011, 06:42PM
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Kept an eye on Abney during the recent Rebels series, not sure if he was 100% but he coasted the whole series and looked disinterested. There's no hope for this kid if his feet aren't going. Hopefully he has more than just a V6 motor inside.

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#37 John Chambers
April 21 2011, 07:00PM
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I left Raleigh, NC to come back to Canada and live in Winnipeg in '06. After a couple of years enjoying tepid climate, couldn't have been happier to come home to Canada.

Mid-sized American cities are strange and uncomfortable. You have to take the Interstate to go anywhere, the average person is a dullard, and the inequity between the wealthy and poor makes me uneasy.

Professional hockey players who come from Canada typically come from a working- or middle-class background, if not straight from the farm. I remember speaking with a toothless Duncan Keith a couple of summers ago at their family's Manitoba cottage about how cool it would be to live in Chicago, and was surprised to have Keith reply that he'd much rather play in a smaller Canadian city where the average person was like the people in their family; like the people he knew growing up. Keith, like many NHL'ers, are Labatt-drinkin', Tim Horton's eating Canadians just like us ... they just make more money than they know what to do with ... but it doesn't fundamentally change the core of who they are.

It's different for Czechs, Slovaks, or Russians who have left varying degrees of chaos for the relative stability and prosperity of living in the US. I can see why Bryzzer is such a puss ... the appeal of the humble Canadian prairie is easily lost on him.

But for every prima donna like Heatley, Pronger, Lindros, and the soprano-voiced Bryzgalov, there's a Selanne, Mike Keane, Bouwmeester, Cammalleri, or Bobby Clarke who will gladly play at home ... to proudly demonstrate themselves as the richest guy in town among their Junior-High graduating class. Wouldn't you rather have those guys win for you anyway?

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#38 closetgm
April 21 2011, 07:14PM
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Conan wrote:

The location portion of the argument doesn't really hold up when you take the fact that the Islanders are at the bottom of the barrel.

What millionaire hockey players doesn't want to live in New York?

I think that the absolute #1 factor in whether players want to play somewhere is how well a franchise is run and how successful it is.

Exactly what i was thinking

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#40 Oilcruzer
April 21 2011, 07:21PM
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@John Chambers

Nice post.

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#42 Bucknuck
April 21 2011, 07:39PM
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Another factor for free agents is travel, is it not? Edmonton is a hell of a long way from most of the other teams.

Winnipeg is a tad closer than Phoenix to Edmonton so I suppose that can't hurt. It's another team that is pretty far from the other cities, so that's not so bad. Of 41 road games I would imagine that Winnipeg would account for 2 of them, so that is a 5% increase in palatable road travel.

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#43 Butters
April 21 2011, 08:01PM
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Well Ilya shouldn't have any problems picking where he wants to go. There are lots of contending teams that aren't capped out. Lots of sun belt teams that don't have to operate on a budget. Enjoy the KHL.

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#44 John Chambers
April 21 2011, 08:14PM
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@Robin Brownlee

More than players wanting to play for a winner, they really don't want to play for a loser. That's why the Isles poll in at 27%.

As for the 20% that don't want to play for the Oil - I would bet that a very small percentage of them hail from Western Canada. So what if Nik Antropov doesn't want to play in E-town? We don't want him. Guys like that always go play for crappy teams in warm climates where the second biggest reason for signing next to money is annonymity. How do you build a winner with character like that?

Doug Weight wanted to win in Edmonton. Taylor Hall wants to play here. Eberle does too. Nugent has said he would be honoured to be drafted by the Oil. Tkachuk and Selanne were legendary in Winnipeg ... Alexei Zhamnov not so much.

This thought that a City like Edmonton or Winnipeg can't attract top talent is a myth. It's been perpetrated by Lauren Pronger and Dany Heatley as a truth, but in fact it's not. Once we start winning, Edmonton will actually have a competitive advantage retaining and attracting talent.

You're right in saying that competitiveness is the greatest factor. But for every spineless greedbag who'd rather avoid playing for a prairie team, there are all sorts of guys who you WANT to build a team around who would rather be a legend on Whyte Ave instead of a nobody on Peachtree street.

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#45 Butters
April 21 2011, 08:33PM
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@John Chambers

Do any players say the don't want to play for the Wild? Isn't Minneapolis-St.Paul just a big Winnipeg?

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#46 Butters
April 21 2011, 08:43PM
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@John Chambers

I meant to reply; "Amen brother"

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#48 Butters
April 21 2011, 09:26PM
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The players take the bus from the airport to their hotel which is located in our mostly dead downtown, where they stay at either the Hotel Mac or the Westin- which I don't think either are even 5 star hotels. Then they bus through the crappiest part of town to play in one of the oldest rinks in the league. No wonder the perception of our city is not the greatest.

Coming soon however, should be a new downtown arena complex and a state-of-the-art Alberta Museum. And with these, more re-development and activity. This should help.

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#49 Pucker
April 21 2011, 09:50PM
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someone has a problem agreeing with Mr. Chambers, who in essence makes some very good points.

Jon

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#50 John Chambers
April 21 2011, 09:54PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Robin, there's no question you can have one hell of a night out in Adams Morgan, and that Georgetown isn't one of the nicest neighbourhoods on the planet. I would live in DC any day.

The point I'm making is that Edmonton has a comparitive advantage in attracting talent ... for certain players. By comparative advantage, I mean their chance of them landing a quality FA is greater than the league average of 1/30. The unique advantage E-town or Winnipeg has over Anaheim and NYC is that for some players it feels like home. However it will be the last destination of choice for a certain demographic of players.

Meanwhile, NYC and SoCal have their own advantages ... nobody cries about getting traded there. They are an attractive destination for nearly all players.

Teams that will have a rough time in the long run are the Nashville's, Columbuses, and Buffalo's. These places aren't great cities to live in, and aren't home to anybody, Ryan Miller notwithstanding.

However to your original point, well-managed teams like Detroit and Pittsburgh, despite being industrial cities on the downswing, attract players because they win. Once we start to win the bandwagon will be full.

Edit: "Spineless greedbag" = Dany Heatley. Anybody got a problem with that?

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