‘Peg gets no love as trade destination


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Interesting piece this week from Craig Custance of ESPN.com.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/02/2015 (2777 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Interesting piece this week from Craig Custance of ESPN.com.

Custance polled 10 agents, asking them to name the three most often-mentioned teams when players with no-trade clauses submit their list of banned destinations.

It should come as no surprise Winnipeg was near the top of the list, right behind Edmonton, which picked up five first-place votes.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files Winnipeg's brutally tough winters are definitely not a big hit with NHLers who have no-trade clauses in their contracts.

“I can tell you, it’s pretty much automatic that Edmonton and Winnipeg are the first two names anyone comes up with,” one agent told Custance. “Winnipeg is at least winning a little bit. Edmonton is a complete nightmare.”

“I hate to say it, but it’s the Canadian teams,” added another agent. “Vancouver would be the most desirable out of those teams. There’s Winnipeg and Edmonton, Toronto because of all the bad media and Montreal. Either you love it or hate it.”

The Jets received four first-place votes. Here’s what Custance wrote:

“It’s no surprise that the Jets are on this list. The question is whether their success on the ice can remove them. Making the playoffs won’t change the scrutiny of playing in a Canadian city, nor will it make the weather any better.

“Winning does help,” said one agent. “If we had done these lists 10 years ago, Pittsburgh would have been on it.”

Another agent pointed to Detroit, a town not known for its great winter weather or vibrant nightlife but one that’s become a destination all the same.

“Why do people want to go to the Detroit Red Wings? They win,” said the agent. “They have a proud organization. Players want to play there because they have a chance to win. They’re proud to play there.”

Still, that Winnipeg weather.

“If you think it’s cold in Detroit, it’s like that for four months in Winnipeg,” said the agent. “If you have a family, you’re a shut-in. The kids can’t go outside and play. You go outside for 15 minutes and it’s frostbite.”

In retrospect, the long-term contracts that the Jets gave to their core of younger players was probably wise considering the challenge of attracting players to Winnipeg. If there are players willing to stick around, it makes sense to keep them.

“The guys who play there, they love it,” said another agent. “It’s just the idea of going there seems awful.”

The Buffalo Sabres ranked third on the list, followed by the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs (tied).

The other teams receiving votes are located in places where the building has been regularly empty or the ownership situation has been in a state of flux — New Jersey, Florida and Arizona.


— Ed Tait

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