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07-06-2013, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Chooch View Post

I really don't think geography matters to hockey players as much as some people make it out to matter. The myth that Edmonton is this city that can't attract FA's ever since the Chris Pronger thing went down and he wanted out for personal reasons in which nobody can decipher why. These guys are hockey players, if they wanted a long vacation on the sandy beaches of Florida, i am sure they can afford one. I mean, these guys barely ever see their families during the regular season as it is, so i don't see why geography is this supposed big deal to most hockey players. If we have to overpay for the FA's we sign, then i'd probably guess Calgary does too, as well as Winnipeg since we aren't exactly the best looking cities.
It's much less actual physical geography (though that matters) than it is Edmonton's reputation as a town that's extremely hard on players that the fans perceive as being bums for whatever made up possibly completely spurious reason. There's not a lot of hockey markets that have fanbases (and media members) who run guys like Jason Arnott, Shawn Horcoff, Sheldon Souray, Dustin Penner, etc. etc. out of town on rails, cheering as they go.

It's literally demonstrably true in this year's FA period with Horton wanting to move from a rabid hockey town to Columbus (a "non-traditional" market). The difference between our theoretically inhospitable environment and Boston's, or Montreal's, though, is that the Oilers have been a hysterically bad hockey franchise for a very long time, and the people that have made it a bad franchise are still in charge. So yeah, the Oilers will have to overpay for free agents, absolutely. It's a bonus if it's a guy like Ference, too, who wants to play in the atmosphere.

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