Thread: Shea Weber
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08-07-2011, 06:06 PM
  #97
MarkMM
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For the record, dryden does not speak for nor represent the viewpoints or tact of all Canadians, in the same way that Nashville shouldn't be seen as not a hockey market just because it's new and southern.

I personally feel this is too soon to be deemed a good or bad thing for Nashville, but it may be a turning point. Things aren't necessarily good or bad, that depends on how leaders respond to things. Weber may want out, he may not have faith in the team, and this may scare off other free agents and make it tougher to keep Rinne and Suter.

At the same time, this could be a calculated move by Weber to force management and ownership to take the leap to get the missing pieces now because he believes the Preds are ready to take that next step, and he's using whatever tools he has at his disposal (including contractual blackmail) to make that happen. Wars often turn in their most hopeless moments because people were forced out of complacency, and in two years time sports writers may be saying this was Nashville's Battle of Britain moment, when Weber pushed, ownership stepped up, and the team and city never looked back.

Vancouver's darkest moment was when Keenan came on board, traded our heart and soul in Linden, fans stopped coming to the games, we'd lost the Grizzlies, the team was one of the biggest money-losing teams in the league, Bure our star player wanted out, players were having all sorts of off-ice issues with each other, our savior in Mark Messier turned into Public Enemy Number 1...internationally Canada couldn't win at the Olympics or Worlds and there was even a summit put on by Hockey Canada to figure out how we could re-establish ourselves as the hockey country. A decade later, the Olympic gold was won on home soil, the Canucks make tens of millions a year in profits with one of the highest payrolls, was one game away from the Cup and are a contender for years to come with some of the world's best taking discounts to stay here and every game has been sold out for near-on a decade.

Truth is, I don't think either Canada or Vancouver's hockey turnarounds would have happened if we haven't been awakend from our arrogant slumber, assuming we're the best because we're Canadian, finally realizing you have to push and work and fight for it, and we're a better "hockey country" for it, because we earned it, not because it's an inherited right.

By the same token, nothing is stopping Nashville from becoming the dominant force in the NHL, it's not a matter of nationality or history, it's a matter of commitment, drive, focus and sacrifice. Maybe the slap in the face that we can't just assume Weber would stay because he loves it here will be exactly what is needed to make the team push itself. For all Vancouver's dominance on and off the ice, a decade ago we were losing millions of dollars and most of our games, Canadian citizenship or not.

I for one have always believed and continue to believe that where you are doesn't dictate where you'll end up. Knowing what you have to lose and being determined not to let it happen is the best asset anyone can have, regardless of your past record, and an arrogant sense of entitlement born of the location you live in (and I'm saying this as a Canadian) is the first warning sign of impending decline.

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