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Georgetown • Canada • 31 Years Old • Male

City of Edmonton

Posted 10:49 AM ET | Comments 35
Wasn't that long ago when Pronger announced he wanted out of Edmonton after just signing a 6 year deal there. Pronger along with numerous other Oilers (Spacek, Peca, Samsanov, etc) formed a mass exodus out of Edmonton, the City, not the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club. A team just 4 weeks prior played in a 7th game of the Cup finals. Pronger had his problems personally, his wife demanded they leave Edmonton "or else", and off he goes. Peca referenced on a Toronto radio station that Edmonton is a tough location for a player with 29 other market choices, given where the city is, and what the city offers. Lowe was shocked to see Spacek leave, a player he was confident from all indications would resign.

Fast forward 12 months, and the Oilers have just dealt away their heart & soul player in Ryan Smyth. Lots of speculation as to 'Will he resign in Edmonton? Complete the Coupe...'. I for one thought it was a strong possibility, only to watch him resign in Colorado. The Oilers then deal for Pitkanen, and pay a fair amount for him, so they can focus their defense around the young and promising defenseman that needed a change of scenery. Rumours break immediately after Edmonton tries to lock him to a long term deal that he was not at all interested in playing in Edmonton and this would be a one year arrangement, one that Lowe's hand would be forced to make a trade.

Lowe then agrees to a contract with perennial 70 point centre Michal Nylander. Prepares the paperwork and faxes it in. Is watching the sports ticker on TV and sees Nylander has signed in Washington. Later it leaked that Nylander had a change of heart after agreeing to a contract, didn't actually want to move to Edmonton so he contacted Washington who pitched an offer to him for less money earlier in the FA season, and signed with them.

Now fast forward to today. Oilers forced to move Pitkanen, albeit get good value in return. Edmonton reportedly offered Hossa $81 million over 9 years, and then after he signs in Detroit a one year deal worth less, they turned around and pitched some cash towards Jaromir for a one year deal worth about the same per season. Looks like he's off to cozy Siberia though.

So thats the past 24 months of disappointments for the Edmonton Oilers and their fans. What's the reason? The Oilers club is well respected, has never pulled crap like what is going on in Toronto right now, and Lowe is considered among the brightest GMs by many circles. The Oilers, although have had a tough 2 years recently, have been a consistent producing team over the past 4-5 years finishing in the 92-93 point range each of the years, so it shouldn't be a competitive issue.

So what else remains? I suggest its the city and today's NHL offers the players lots of freedom. If you can make $4 million in sunny Florida or under the Cali sun and beaches, or move to Edmonton to endure 6 months of snow and blisternig cold to do the same job, I would guess that nearly all would choose the sun over the snow. Travel can be a factor do, you can sign in Eastern Canada or North Eastern US and the most travel you'll have for a typical night is a 1-2 hour flight. Not the case for Edmonton, who travels to Minnesota, San Jose, LA, Dallas, and Detroit... all 'western' teams.

Anyway that's my editorial and opinion. And it's no disrespect meant to the city of Edmonton. I've never been there but always have wanted to go as an Oil fan. It may be a fantastic city. I just think for a spoiled and coddled NHL star today, evidence may suggest Edmonton is not a desirable city to play in.
Filed Under:   Edmonton   Oilers   Nylander   Pitkanen   Pronger   Peca   Hossa  
July 6, 2008 1:12 PM ET | Delete
yet everyone wants to go to calgary
July 6, 2008 1:53 PM ET | Delete
July 6, 2008 1:53 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
July 6, 2008 2:47 PM ET | Delete
After growing up in Lethbridge, AB and making going to Calgary on almost a monthly basis for the past few years, I recently moved to Edmonton after graduating from University. I've spent 2 months in this city and can offer up a firm opinion on it. I can honestly see why FAs don't wanna come here, this city is like a girl with a great body but a gross face. There are some nice places up here but the city as a whole sucks, nevermind the inferiority complex that it has now that Calgary is where the money is at and no one wants to play for their team.Calgary is a city that is quite a bit nicer than Edmonton, but is also fairly new, which leaves it lacking some character....I havent even lived here in winter yet but I am honestly trying to get out before that... After living here I don't blame Mrs. Pronger for wanting to get out, I really don't
July 6, 2008 3:36 PM ET | Delete
You're a Grade"A" moron buddy. How can you form an opinion if you've never been here? This is just another sad attempt by a loser blogger to get noticed. Well played moron... well played.
July 6, 2008 3:49 PM ET | Delete
dont get testy 420 your showing your edmonton complex as flame44 says
July 6, 2008 3:49 PM ET | Delete
klow was never forced to trade Pitkanen, he just didnt want to pay a hard to coach, overrated player the money he wanted. i agree with the trade, and i think the oilers are better for it
July 6, 2008 4:07 PM ET | Delete
I've lived in southern Alberta for most of my life and have made numerous trips to Edmonton (I live in Calgary). As a whole, it is not the most attractive city and it doesn't have the strong chinook winds that Calgary does that bring a reprieve from the blasting cold this province can endure. That being said, there is a wonderful culture in Edmonton, fantastic people, a GREAT music scene, and some wonderful places to eat. I think the problem has to do with perception. A lot of cities are a bit more polished than Edmonton, so if one doesn't look for those wonderful cultural benfits (which aren't in-your face-prevalent), then Edmonton can be perceived as an unsatisfactory destination. I have to believe that the issue of players not "wanting" to play in Edmonton is deeper than that though. I mean, this is a team that has as much success as one could hope for in professional sports and has a promising young roster...why wouldn't someone want to be a part of that? My thought is that it is a problem with the curent coaching and management staff. True K-lowe is a respected GM by his peers, but perhaps he isn't as respected when it comes to players? I have also heard similar things about Mac-T...not the easiest guy to get along with. So, while it MAY have something to do with the city itself, I think it has more to do with the playing environment...just my two cents.
July 6, 2008 4:21 PM ET | Delete
check out how many players Pits just lost.
July 6, 2008 4:42 PM ET | Delete
dono_bertu - Complex - please. I find it absolutely asinine that someone would write an article about a city when they haven't even been there.
July 6, 2008 4:43 PM ET | Delete
Hossa leaving pittsburgh is confusing to say the least (although Detroit is a GREAT alterative)...but all the other players that have left were looking for more money...not quite the same situation as Edmonton.
July 6, 2008 4:43 PM ET | Delete
hahahaha....these Flamers on here boasting about how much greater Calgary is to Edmonton....yet I see ZERO UFA falling over themselves to pay in Calgary!
July 6, 2008 4:53 PM ET | Delete
While I don't agee with benbca's comments about the City of Edmonton (especially since he's never been there), there is something to his point about the apparent lack of players wanting to play there. I'm not saying that if given a choice, a player would chose to play in Calgary rather than Edmonton (except maybe Glencross)...I'm saying that I think K-Lowe and Mac-T aren't very popular in the player's community. The same could be said about Sutter..he often plays hardball (although he is honest about), and won't over-pay for players (we will ignore the whole Tanguay issue for now)...maybe this (along with Keenan) will begin to fester in Player's minds and make Calgary a less attractive place to play? who knows. I will say this though, the way you build loyalty in a hockey organization is through the drafting and developing of players, and Edmonton is starting to do a good job at that...so who needs FAs?
July 6, 2008 4:54 PM ET | Delete
polar bears and timber wolves or bikinis and white sands .....you decide
July 6, 2008 4:55 PM ET | Delete
I hope you're joking about the polar bears and timber wolves...neither of which exist remotely close to edmonton...
July 6, 2008 4:57 PM ET | Delete
First of all Hossa did not sign in Detroit just to escape from Edmonton. He signed there because he wants a good shot at winning the cup. And do I think that Detroit has a better chance at winning the cup this year than Edmonton does? Yeah I do. But dont forget the fact Edmonton was the front-runner for him for a while. It all came down to where he had a better chance of winning. It also seems that everyone thinks just because we lost him this season it means we will never get another shot at a big name UFA. Just a reminder to hypocritical jerk who seems to hate Edmonton, why do you think he signed a one year deal???
July 6, 2008 5:03 PM ET | Delete
just kidding... tell me this...why did lowe make the sabres pay 51 million clams to vanek . is that part of the game ?
July 6, 2008 5:05 PM ET | Delete
I don't think big name UFAs are as desireable as people make them out to be anyway...you ALWAYS over-pay for them (except maybe Hossa this year) and they have always had this stigma attached to them in my mind...they are like mercanaries and their loyalties are hard to decipher. I wouldn't try and build my team around one...but to round out your roster, they can sometimes fit the bill. If I were Edmonton, I wouldn't overpay for Hossa...not even next year.
July 6, 2008 5:09 PM ET | Delete
The point to the post was to throw some consideration into why Edmonton has money to spend and not a lot of players lining up to take it, and it's been going on like that for a few years. To Fez's point, perhaps its Low and MacT?The fact is... there is at least ONE reason why Edmonton has a hard time acquiring talent via free agency... the evidence exists and can't be denied. The question is... what is it?And 420 I never stated that Edmonton is a crap place or anything like that, I would love to live there and be part of their traditions and sports scene. Just made the point that when compared to some of the other 29 cities, my opinion is that the league players would vote that Edmonton is among the least desirable to live. So I think you missed the point or are just one of those guys who likes to sit behind your computer and shoot off. Either way you are entitled to your opinion too, as insightful as it is.
July 6, 2008 5:13 PM ET | Delete
The offer sheet to Vanek was obviously ridiculous at the time (okay it still is), but he scored 36 goals last season and he is 24 years old...that's a player that every GM would want on his team. You're right though, that is something that may have contributed to an apparent disrespect that people have with Lowe...
July 6, 2008 6:11 PM ET | Delete
Free agents cant fall all over themselves to play in Calgary mostly because we signed all our players and we are at the cap...thats why
July 6, 2008 7:08 PM ET | Delete
As for Vanek,Regher(sp) did'nt have to match the offer and the Penner offer looks quite good now.As far as Burke saying Lowe drove up the prices he may have offered or overpaid last year for those two but,it deppends what they are worth to your club.Burke should've been on the ball and got him signed.I believe one of the reasons that players wouldn't want to sing in Edmonton was the fact that there was 38 owners that may change now. I have lived in Calgary,Vancouver,Victoria and have relatives in Edmonton which i have visited often and i like the city i will say Calgary is more scenic but the love for sports is undeniable in Edmonton
July 6, 2008 7:29 PM ET | Delete
This post is an absolutely fantastic, flawlessly executed troll IMO. Anyway, I am agreeing with what Nelso says about Edmonton; I think Calgary is a nicer city but Edmonton is called the "City of Champions" for a reason. The biggest difference between Calgary and Edmonton fans is that Edmonton fans take their sports way more seriously. The argument that Edmonton can't attract free agents is true to a certain degree (Nylander and Hossa are indisputable examples), but if this post is coming from a Flames fan, it is totally pointless mud slinging.
July 6, 2008 9:03 PM ET | Delete
Dear Flames44,Alex Tanguay couldn't wait to get the hell out of Calgary and neither could Chris Drury when he played there...Just cause you have your "core" signed long-term doesn't change the fact you need a top-6 player on your team BADLY...looks like Sutter is gonna have to acquire that player via trade and not in the UFA route....
July 6, 2008 9:43 PM ET | Delete
hahaha I love it..lets have a battle of alberta blog
July 6, 2008 10:49 PM ET | Delete
i think calgary will be in the running for the tavares stakes at the conclusion of the 08-09 season
July 6, 2008 11:59 PM ET | Delete
The city is gross, the people are stuck in the 80's with mullets and t-roof sunfires rock on to the biggest trailor park in the world!! I love how all the oiler fans said dion, regehr, kipper, and iggy all wanted out, hmmm how long are their contracts for?
July 7, 2008 12:00 AM ET | Delete
I honestly didn't find this article all that offensive to Edmonton, I actually think it was bang on, I love watching games in edmonton, the fans are fantastic but there is advantages to being a player in calgary that have nothing to do with Edmonton as a city. For instance Calgary is the most centralized N.W. division city, in adition we do get a milder climate than Edmonton, that's not edmonton's fault but it's true. When other players see Iginla and Regehr and Dion and Langkow sign for less than they are worth they KNOW this city is great and when players like Pronger take off and don't stay after a cup run they have to wonder why! It's normal, the fact Kevin Lowe got bullied into the Pronger trade set Edmonton back, don't look around and wonder if the city is inferior, wonder if the G.M. is.
July 7, 2008 12:28 AM ET | Delete
Look, I didn't mean to offend any of my fellow Edmontonians but for me PERSONALLY I don't like living here at all. I came here after graduating and the city doesn't do it for me and I prefer Calgary. My feelings about the city have nothing to do with the Oilers, it has more to do with homeless guy who hit my car with a beer bottle, or the fact that my bank card got skimmed at my own bank or the fact that the other day i was out for a jog and a group of guys were harassing a girl and one saw my jogging as charging to break it up and he wanted to stab me...I dont even live in a "bad" area.
July 7, 2008 1:06 AM ET | Delete
Maybe you were jogging in North East Calgary...
July 7, 2008 1:15 AM ET | Delete
haha no i wasnt in Forrest Lawn...it was near MacEwan College
July 7, 2008 2:54 PM ET | Delete
Seems a minimum requirement for commenting on a city should be having been there at least once. Don't you think?You guys have it all messed around. The Eskimos have never had trouble signing quality players for the entire existence of the team. Would not the "city" factor affect them too if what you say is true? The main truth you guys are missing is that players want to play for a winner. Edmonton has had trouble putting a quality team on the ice for several years. Players didn't want to play here because they wanted to "win". That climate of losing is changing and so will the attitudes.Every city has it's charms. I've lived in Calgary for several years. I won't be so juvenile as previous posters to trash Calgary. I prefer Edmonton for many reasons as most people prefer the towns they choose to live in. It doesn't make every other place a dump. Look at the past few years there are a lot of so called "sexy" cities that have had a lot more difficulty signing UFA's than Edmonton has. No one would even talk about this if not for the high-profile Pronger fiasco. Pronger "shat" his own bed and had to get out of e-town to save his skin...that's all that need be said there. Tanguay wanted out of Calgary and there have been many others yet somehow that's not the same. There are a lot of players that play in Edmonton that absolutely love it here. How many other teams have players that cry when they are traded? Would they be so passionate if they all wanted out?
July 7, 2008 11:25 PM ET | Delete
Great post Alawishis
July 8, 2008 1:39 AM ET | Delete
I like how Calgary fans are so insistent that players don't want to come to Edmonton because it's ugly or cold or whatever else. Who was the last big name UFA that Calgary signed? Has it ever even happened? And no Todd Bertuzzi doesn't count.Anyone who says that Edmonton is ugly doesn't know what they are talking about. Every city has it's ugly places, and just like every other city you have to know where to go. Edmonton has the largest park space of ANY city in the world. The river valley is unbelievable. Edmonton is home to one of the largest heritage, fringe and street performer festivals in the world. We have far and away more international events in Edmonton. And I know Calgarians will bring up the Winter Olympics but in both participation numbers and revenue the World Track and Field Championships are larger. Add that to the Masters games, world diving championships, a world triathlon event, the world mens curling championships, possible host of the 2015 University Games, and an annual host of perhaps the most successful grand prix event on the circuit, Edmonton has a long and growing history of hosting international events. You can say Edmonton is cold, and that we haven't won much recently but don't try and tell me that there is nothing to do here or that the city is ugly. Here is a lovely link to an annual competition call Communities in Bloom and Edmonton's success in this competition for those of you that think Edmonton is ugly. http://www.edmonton.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_271_213_0_43/http;/CMSServer/COEWeb/environment waste and recycling/beautification/CommunitiesinBloomEdmonton.htm
July 8, 2008 1:45 AM ET | Delete
my car is going to fall into a pot hole one of these days...and what about the traffic circles with traffic lights?oh and Calgary women are absolutely gorgeous but totally stuck up
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