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10-25-2012, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TheZec View Post
I think the biggest problem wasn't the arena itself, but the fact that a player signing today, could end up living in Kansas City 2 years later. Wich is a risk some players (especially those with families) wouldn't have taken.

Now every player will know that the team will be locked in brooklyn for the next 25 years, on top of that in a new Arena. This will be a huge factor, IMO.
I agree that the lingering questions of where they'd end up was probably one of the biggest hindrances to attracting UFAs, if not the biggest. Sure, winning matters, but we're also coming off an offseason where the two biggest UFAs signed with an organization that hasn't won a playoff series since the 2002-03 season, and hasn't qualified for the playoffs in six of the last eight seasons.

Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
By now, we have all seen that location makes no difference to free agents. How well the organization is run makes the difference.

Why else would a player choose Detroit over Miami or Phoenix?
I disagree that it makes zero difference. Buffalo frequently loses out on top-tier free agents because of their location, even now when we have a great owner. Buffalo will never net the Zach Parises and Brad Richards of the world due, in no small part, because of where they're located and the type of city Buffalo is.

And I think the Detroit v Miami/Phoenix comparison is a tad disingenuous. While Detroit is not a nice city and they have a winning tradition over the last couple decades, they're also an Original Six franchise which has some allure. Further, many players don't sign in Phoenix because, like the Islanders, they have no clue where the franchise may be in a year or two. Also, players probably don't want to play in front of a half-empty arena 41 nights a year.

I think, overall, this is a couple steps in the right direction for the Isles. Their location is now stable. They're much closer to Manhattan, and that's an advantage when it comes to attracting players. They'll also be playing in a modern, state-of-the-art arena, and will probably be able to pack the house on most nights.

They'll need to improve in the standings, certainly, to gain further credibility, but I don't think you can discount location and facilities in the analysis of what players may be looking at when considering the Islanders now.

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