One thing I’ve wondered about with franchises like the Oilers and the Jets is how the threat of a trade may not exist there. I’m just speculating here, but if the vast majority of players include these two towns on their list of cities they wouldn’t accept a trade to, wouldn’t at least a few of the players on the Jets or Oilers see the prospect of a trade to Tampa or Nashville as not much of a motivator, if they wouldn’t outright welcome the deal?
I know most athletes are proud men, and it’s humiliating to them to be told “We don’t want you anymore”, but if you’re stuck in Edmonton, and you’re not winning and not having fun at the rink, and your coach is a bit of a diva and martinet, aren’t you checking with your buddy who plays for the Ducks or the Coyotes, and see how things are over there?
I had another schadenfreude moment yesterday watching the dastardly Andrew Ference suffer along as the Captain of the Oilers. Who the heck ever thought that mendacious thug was a good choice for that position?
And again I thought of Justin Schultz, who had his choice of teams to sign with two seasons ago, and chose the Oilers over his home province Canucks. I thought at the time that was a misguided decision, that he could have played an instant role as the right-handed guy on the third pairing who played the powerplay, and been on a contender. Sure, the Canucks now are almost as big a mess as the Oilers, but if they’d had Justin Schultz on their blue line, they could have made some other roster decisions and a playoff push last season, might not be in the mess they are now. The cascade of dominoes might have gone a different way.