Edmonton among least desirable teams to play for (NHLPA/CBC poll)
According a poll conducted by CBC's Hockey Night in Canada which asked players what team they least wanted to play for the Oilers came in second with 20% of the vote, only the Islanders had more votes at 27%
the poll is based on 318 players, probably none have even played in any of those markets that finished in the bottom 5. It doesn't bother me that Edmonton is 2nd, they are a rebuilding team and are trying to get a new rink built. If they did this poll 6-7 years ago I believe that Pittsburgh and Chicago would be on the list. Give it 2-3 years when Hall and Eberle are great players and when Tavares is more dominant along with better management.
Same thing with Toronto, they really don't have a franchise player right now and really don't look like they will be any better in the next 2-3 years without some big moves. When you get Crosby/Malkin and Staal you get UFA's that want to go to Pitts. Chicago gets Toews and Kane you get UFA's that want to go there. I really cant wait until our team gets better, it will be bitter sweet to all the negative talk towards them.
As long as the players currently on our team want to play here, its all good with me. Hall and Eberle are Western Canadian kids and know what the weather and culture is all about. The media/attention factor - that's a two-way street. Sure it can be rough when the team isn't playing well, but succeed and you become a god in this city. A new arena and we'll be OK. I didn't see Calgary on that list, but other than their city being a little nicer and arena a little newer, you can't tell me there is much different about the two cities weather/culture/attention-wise.
Meh, all I'm saying is you have to wonder how hard the responses are thought of by the players. I'm sure it's a bothersome thing to them that they answered quickly. For years everyone talked about the Rexall ice as being the best, so that's probably the first thing that came to mind. We know from the comments of our own players that it's not the best ice in the league.
As for not wanting to play here, not a big surprise. This will be the 5th year in a row missing the playoffs, and it's cold!
1) players who played for different teams asked which team they wouldn't want to play for- -
- thats great questioning ) *at least have a criteria that they can rate: ex. city life (arts, enertainment, ect), media, fans, ect
2) your asking people who have only experienced the city by playing a few games (some not even a game if your in the Eastern Conference) in the city
3) the NHL is compromised of 52 -54% Canadian players (from a recent poll) and roughly 20-22 % american. This tells me (discussing the North American contingent) if you weren't born an Oiler fan (since many players were probably not) you will probably were a fan of another team, or you grew up hating em them because they were a rival team.
4) if your European (Russia, Swedish, Finnish, ect) same as reason 2 your only experience is based on playing in the city, and through media, and fellow countryman who may have by chance played in the city but for the most part its not that persons experience.
I can think of many places people wouldn't want to play (but would never say) especially if your not playing well (Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto)
Edmonton is an easy place to say because we're almost the poster child for saying I don't want to (much like Buffalo was in the 90's). I find when your doing a poll on players who have never even played in a certain market ridiculous. Ask former players privately, and without using there names and see.
A great example is the Clippers vs the Lakers, or Yankees vs the Mets. Both teams in the same city, yet if you did a poll on both of those you would see they are swayed to one way. One has the atmosphere, the history, the history of winning, the joy to play there and be treated like celebrity the other does not. Point out the positives.
I do think we have had the bad experiences of Souray, and Pronger to make things worse, and we have to work on that. Though you can only base things on experience and guys like Doug Weight, Bill Guerin, Janne Niinima (i can never spell his name loved it here), Ryan Smyth, Marty Reasoner loved it here.
If you treat players well, and there a winning team your going to get players that want to be here.
On a side note, I feel in the future we should be a team that was built through drafting and developing are star players. It seems you can never get a one for one trade, and if your at the deadline trying to grab a star player your almost always overpaying. I can think of massive overpayments recently like Nashville getting Forsberg, Pittsburgh getting Hossa, just to name a couple.
It's bad propaganda for the Oilers organization. I guess at least we aren't #1 and I also bet you the same things were being said before the Pens got their new building and before Malkin and Crosby arrived.
Oilers will be okay. They can't let Eberle or Hall ever walk out of here because like someone mentioned they're as close to hometown boys as it gets. It would be a smaller-time equivalent of the Cavs losing LeBron James. If the Oil can't keep and build a winner around them they won't be able to build a winner around anyone.
Calgary will be on that list soon enough too. If I'm a player and look around, I see Edmonton as a team that has lost it's way and is on a rebuild, has lost for years, traded away or lost all it's good players and is in a very cold climate. If I were to play for a team like that, I'd at least go to Phoenix where the weather is awesome and you can have a more active lifestyle, especially with family if you're outdoor oriented, which we all are if the weather is nice.
Having said that, winning is the biggest factor in all of this. Once a team becomes a winner, players will go to a hell like city to win (e.g. Detroit). I don't think this is shocking in any way. If the Oilers prove that the re-build is working (win some games next year or even at the end of this year) and start to emerge as a team that will be a playoff team every year and a contender, then they will change their minds.
The other thing is the new building. Once you've played in one of the newer facilities in the league, I would have to think one gets used to the nice feel of a new and thriving arena district/arena and the vibe that goes with it.
(And THAT is post 1000! woohoo!!)
All in all, it's a survey of what's going on at the moment and SHOULD show management what they need to do to get to that next level everyone has been talking about. I'm confident this perspective will change in a few years. Detroit was the laughing stock of the league in the 80's. They changed philospohy and adopted an institutional level of excellence. Now they are the model. Edmonton has the same opportunity. Hopefully it is seized upon.
i understand why the cities chosen were chosen. Edmonton, Atlanta, Florida haven't had a recent history of winning and are somewhat outpost-ish, Toronto and Montreal have a ghastly amount of media and fan attention that doesn't appeal to some players. though you could probably throw in places like Columbus, Buffalo and Minnesota. i haven't seen any BIG UFA's sign there recently, unless you call Martin Havlat "big"?
Yet there are some here who condemned Tambellini for not bringing in any major upgrades this offseason and think that building through the draft is stupid.
Reality check guys, A losing Edmonton based franchise has to build through the draft and won't become an at least somewhat desirable destination for free agents until a winning tradition becomes established.
Think about this: The team that is less desirable than Edmonton is the NY Islanders. They are a stone's throw away from Manhattan - what some people consider to be the greatest place in the world to live.
Winning has EVERYTHING to do with attracting players.