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07-03-2006, 09:28 AM
Beakermania*'s Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kingston or Hamilton
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,964
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Thanks McPhee, I didn't want to sound anti-french if thats how my post came off, I'm sorry.

But you hit it on the head, there are stereotypes and perceptions of the Province of Quebec that are not always true. Notice how guys we have gotten through drafting and trades over the years have absolutely fallen in love with the city, the Mullers, Rivet, Kovalev, Koivu, etc... Once they realize the reality of the situation they are more willing to resign and come back. Problem is right now the stereotypes and perceptions are taking over the reality and our management needs to do a better job of fighting them. Sure guys come to Montreal between 1-4 times a year depending on what team they are on, but a one day trip where you have to practice in the morning, sleep in the afternoon, play a game at night, is not long enough to learn the city and open the eyes of how it is a great town, how you don't need to learn french to live here, how wild the nightlife is, how beautiful the city is, etc...

What can management do to woo guys to Montreal. I really think we should fly the free agents and there families in, and take them around town for 2 or 3 days, let them see the whole Montreal experience for what it is, and try to dispell some of the perceptions of the city that are hurting it.

As far as the media goes, i still say they are a factor, sure Toronto and NY are able to sign guys, but some players will shy away from those cities to. It all depends on the athlete and his personal make-up. I prefer players who like the pressure as i think those guys are better equipped to deal with it as the games get bigger, but some don't like pressure and to them its an issue. However some of the guys who go to T.O. and NY shy away from Montreal for other reasons (ie taxes).

The climate thing is again a factor for some people. Just ask Pronger and his wife if you don't believe me. Sure its not everyone, but sometimes i think guys playing in Anaheim, Tampa, LA, etc have it great. They can go to the beach on days off, they don't get recognized when they go grab a cup of coffee, again it is a factor with some players.

Of course the biggest factor is still the tax issue, which is why when we see guys sign (ie Koivu) many of us complain that they are overpaid. You have to remember that for a player 4.5million in Montreal = 3.75-4 million in a place with lower income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc... It is a big deal and I'm sure these guys have been well advised by agents and financial planners prior to negotiating.

Of course not every issue is one that affects every guy, but the issues exist and it only takes one to sour a guy on a city. That is why it is imperative that BG make the right draft picks and trades in this town, as the people who are "forced" to come to Montreal often never want to leave, and get good value if he does get a FA so we hae the cap space to make future moves.

Last edited by Beakermania*: 07-03-2006 at 09:38 AM.
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