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07-04-2013, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JLP View Post
UFA season is upon us, and with it the arguments that plenty of these players choose to avoid the Habs. If so, what are the main reasons?

1. Is it that we're not seen as a contender? (I think we are close to being contenders.)

2. Is it "the pressure" of this market? (There's a relative loss of privacy off-ice when playing in Montreal, but it is the world's premier hockey city wouldn't some players thrive on that?)

3. Is it that the players' kids would have to go to a French-language school? (I think most millionaires can afford to send their kids to private school, does the Habs organization help with such logistics of relocation?)

4. Is it that the income tax rate is significantly higher in Québec?

5. The long cold winters?

Please let's not let this sink to a Québec-bashing thread. I seriously wonder if the "UFA avoid Montréal" phenomenon is real, and if so, why?
By percentage:

1. 60%. We're basically a 90-point team most years since 1993. That's the biggest thing. Pressure, taxes, and so on. All that stuff was true in the 80s but players wanted to play for the Habs because they thought we had a chance at a Cup. That is not really true anymore.

2. 10%. It might push some guys away but I'm not sure they're guys we want anyway. Guys who want to just collect a paycheck and screw around don't help teams win.

3. 0%. The Habs surely make it clear you can send your kids to private English school in Quebec. If you said if the players are worried they have to go to French school I might say 5%.

4. 10%. It doesn't help but we need to remember that the Bush tax cuts expired, the top rate of income tax in the US is now 39.6% not 35%. Most states add on income tax and some cities add on income taxes on top of that. Massachusetts has a 5.25% income tax rate. New York state has an 8.82% tax rate and NYC has taxes on top of that. Montreal has the highest tax burden in the league, but it's not out of this world high compared to many East Coast and California teams.

5. 5%. No doubt some guys want to stick around warmer cities in the winter but we're talking 95% of the playing base, if not more, coming from freezing parts of Canada, America and Europe. They're used to it.

So that's 85% and I would add #6:

6. 15%. Perception Montreal is not a family city. What I mean by this is that I am not sure the wives are keen on their husbands going to a party town with lots of girls, lots of strip clubs and nightclubs. MTL's one of the world's great party towns and all athletes love hot girls....IMO a big part of the reason Shane Doan stays in Phoenix is the wife wants him somewhere nice and boring. Wives have a much bigger say in where guys go than we think. To tie this back to #3, back in the 80s a big reason the Expos and Nordiques had such trouble attracting players was that the wives didn't want to live in Quebec. Didn't know any French, had nothing to do because they didn't know any French.

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