Every time people say “No one wants to play in Edmonton because the weather is so crappy” we can’t help but laugh to ourselves. We’re playing hockey here people—ICE hockey if you’re from Belgium. What kind of weather do people expect to play “ice hockey” in exactly? You want nice weather? Go play polo, or worse yet, baseball. Real NHL players were born in a town of 43 people, had to walk 15 miles to the rink where all they had to shoot for a puck was frozen <insert name of local wildlife here> turds.
It would stand to reason that if good players want to play in nice weather, that teams like LA should be awesome. Um no, that ain’t the case at all. The Kings suck, lambs, they suck harder than Gene Principe during an Oilers pay-per-view match.
Here’s their record in the past five years:
2006-2007—24- 41- 14—No playoffs
2005-2006—42- 35- 5—No playoffs
2002-2003 —33-37-6-6—No playoffs
So if everyone in the NHL wants to play in a city with nice weather and big-city nightlife, can someone explain to us why the Kings have historically been so crappy? Let us offer up an explanation.
Players who want to go to warm cities aren’t hockey players. By and large, they just want to go and be a 20- or 30-something millionaire in a warm city. Former GM of the Phoenix Coyotes Mike Barnett once went on record saying “We have players who want to live in Phoenix and enjoy its lifestyle. We need players who want to play hockey in Phoenix.”
What do LA Kings fans tell each other when free agent after free agent don’t end up signing in LA?
“Oh Ramon, Marian Hossa won’t come here. Ever since the writers strike, all the clubs have emptied out and the stars are partying in New York.”
See? You don’t have that problem here. The only celebrities you’ll run into in Edmonton if you’re an Oiler are other Oilers. Playing in Edmonton improves players’ skills because there aren’t the same distractions here as in other cities.
You think Ray Emery would be driving down the Yellowhead Freeway listening to Three-6 Mafia and balling out of control in his Hummer? HELLS no!
You think Jeremy Roenick would be trying to launch his acting career at local cable channel the Access Network? Yeah right!
If you want to be a ballin’-ass celebrity in the offseason, play in Edmonton and summer in LA. Hell most of the Oilers are already doing it now! We don’t care either, do we Nation? We could care less if Ales Hemsky spends his summers dancing the Can-Can in an off broadway production of Cats. As long as he answers the bell when the season starts, what do we care?
The league is filled with players who came to Edmonton, got good and then left for “warmer” or “bigger and better” cities. How is your career David Oliver? What do you do now? Sell insurance? How about you Mike Grier? Dan McGillis? Boris Mironov? Anyone?
Yeah, these clowns really made a good move leaving Oil Country. Their current careers in used auto sales are a testament to that.
So before you decide to go elsewhere this offseason, free agents, just think. Have any players ever come to Edmonton and later regretted it—who weren’t named Bernie Nicholls, Petr Klima or Chris Pronger?