I think it says something about geography more than the conferences. I don't think players would say 'I want to stay in the West' as opposed to 'I want to stay in this general area'. It just so happens that the latter statement allows for a lot more options when you play in the east. Doesn't mean players don't say I want to stay in California, or something (Lubo). It just is much more rare than when someone like Briere says he wants to be around his family, and drawing a 100 mile radius around Philly allows him to go to a quarter of the teams in the league.
Unless there is some specific reason(more money, a career spent in the West, hometown), who is going to choose the West over the East? You can find a contender, and usually just as much money, in the East as easily as in the West. Most of your games are in 1 time zone in the East. If you're in the northeast corridor especially, most of the games that are in that 1 time zone are a short trip back and forth.
When you're talking choice, the East has every advantage. That's just the reality of the NHL universe.