DW usually keeps the Sharks pretty close to the cap and he likes to re-sign his guys and give them extensions. I'm sure if he had more money and players would be more willing to take 3 year deals instead or 10, he'd land more ufas.
Lombardi has never been one to sign ufas. He drafts well and will make big trades and re-sign players, but he isn't a guy who tests the ufa waters too much (aside from Kovalchuk).
Players will look at money and winning. They all go on long vacations once the season is over. If a player been on a team for a while it is hard to move to a new area if they have kids. Also note most athlete for NYC sports teams live in NJ during the season. Living in NYC sucks after a while.
I tend to agree. It sounds great in theory, but in practice it seems very few big time FAs end up out west. Cost of living goes a long way too. The Silicon Valley/bay area isn't exactly the cheapest place to live.
This is a very big thing. If California (not just the Bay Area) was so great there would be more big named players out here. If you're making a lot of money playing sports and you can win AND not get stripped by the tax man you would do it.
I love California but I wouldn't mind being in Detroit/Edmonton and be part of something great. Rebuilding a team happens a lot. I would rather be known as a player that was around at the beginning of something great. Edmonton might always be cold but they will eventually be a winner.
You're right, I haven't. However, I've heard amazing things about San Diego and figured San Jose was pretty much the same thing. San Fran, San Diego, San Jose, are they really any different? It's all California.
San Jose isn't really that great. I'd say Anaheim/LA/San Diego areas fit that typical California thought. LA has Santa Monica and Beverly Hills as the nice areas.
Anaheim has even more like Irvine, Yorba Linda, Villa Park, Orange Park Acres, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, etc. San Diego area has great areas too. Where I live is an attractive market for athletes. Too bad SD doesn't have a strong sports market. California would be an incredible place to live, but the people in charge here make it undesirable.
Many have already gone over the fact that LA and SJ have had not a single major FA signing. So, obviously there are holes in the OP's claim. I look at it from a different perspective.
Only in the past 5-10 years has youth hockey in California really picked up. We finally have teams competing for national championships, and have a few local players making the NHL.
The best hockey in the US is still on the East Coast. I challenge you to name ONE legit hockey college West of Denver.
These guys grow up playing on the East Coast in cold weather, and don't feel the draw of the California beaches. Hockey is a cold weather sport, if all NHL players wanted babes in bikinis on beaches they would not have chosen hockey.
Many have already gone over the fact that LA and SJ have had not a single major FA signing.
True, but in all honesty, how many top level $7mil+/year FA's actually change hands each offseason?
Like this offseason......there was Parise, and Suter, and.....that was it (at the top tier level anyway).
2 guys. Extrapolate that out, you estimate maybe 20-25 top tier UFA's since the last lockout and.....you have an AVERAGE of less than one major FA signing per team.
Guys like Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Stamkos, etc. aren't on the free agent market every year. They get drafted, they sign contracts and they stick around for a long time. When their first original contract expires, they usually find themselves RFA. By the time they've been in the league long enough to go UFA (barring a major fallout), usually the player likes the stability of where he is and his current team will have the inside track to re-signing him either before or after the previous contract expires.
Most teams acquire top level talents either through drafts or trades and then do everything they can to retain them. Sure, there are quite a few second-liners and lower role players who might move around as UFA's, and for whom things like local environment factor into their decisions, but those guys are sort of interchangeable and will go anywhere there's an opening and a decent salary.
But top-tier guys rarely hit the open market unrestricted. And when guys do hit the market, the teams most likely to pursue them are teams like the Wild.....teams that were missed the playoffs in the previous season(s) and have the financial room to overpay those FA's because their money isn't tied up in other superstars.
Canadian fans LOVE making it an Edmonton/Winnipeg issue, when really it's a playing in Canada issue. Since the lockout, what teams have signed the big free agents players that weren't already playing there?