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03-24-2014, 11:10 AM
No Team Needed
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Originally Posted by dre2112 View Post
Montreal is a great city. I was born and raised there myself. That said, it's not for everyone. Night life isn't what most of these guys care about. These guys all make a ton of money. They can do any of that stuff in any city they please and have the best experience. Also, as much as we don't want to admit it, the language is an issue not to mention the even worse politics that surround it as are the relentless media and fans.
It's not so much that "language/politics is not an issue" but that you don't know what every single hockey player's decision making is when it comes to going to Montreal. Every team has a thousand different reasons why and why not to sign somewhere.

Between the mid 90s until the late 00s, Montreal wasn't an attractive destination. Gainey wine and dined free agents like Shanahan and had strong relationships with guys like Jason Arnott and offered the most money to guys like Daniel Briere and they just wouldn't come. You know what's also common in that time? Montreal wasn't a good team. And Montreal was just another team. Then the Canadiens won the Eastern Conference in regular season and had the All-Star game and Draft in Montreal. It put a spotlight on the team for superstars to experience the city as more than just a place they have to play in. And with free cap space, Gainey was able to grab up several free agents in one year. And it changed the image of Montreal for free agents.

Grumble all you want about Gainey but between 07-08 and 12-13 Montreal has missed the playoffs once and brought in tons of free agents other teams wanted. Cammalleri, Gionta, Moen, Cole, Prust, all of these guys were expected to sign elsewhere. They signed in Montreal. Paul Mara, Brandon Prust and Danny Briere took less money in Montreal than offers from other teams.

Right now, Montreal gets an early shot at signing Vanek. We don't have to invite him to Montreal on the first day of free agency. His tour is now. Any factor for him coming or not coming is different to every other team.

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