Inspired by Eli Manning…
Say you’re Aleksander Ovechkin, and as long as you don’t mind being booed on draft day and sitting out a year or two, you can pretty much demand where you want to play. Simple questions: Where? why? and where not?Everyone I’m assuming is different, but if it were me, I’d avoid the spotlight and choose a team with a strong future.
1. San Jose: Great weather, laid-back lifestyle, flashy jerseys and a young team that looks unstoppable.
2. Tampa Bay: Sunny beaches, anonymity, great team. Tortorella is the type of coach I’d want to play for, preaches a wide open style, but won’t put up with a slacker.
3. Vancouver: If I had to live in a fishbowl it would definitely be in my home town. A beautiful, clean, mild-weathered town with a chance to play with Markus Naslund. The celebration after winning a cup here would be unlike that in any other city, the fans would build you a statue if you did. Negatives include harsh spotlight, rain and the worst travel schedule in the league.
4. Miami: Bright future, South Beach. ‘Nuff said.
5. Los Angeles: Can’t think of another city with a full building and loyal fans, but without the fishbowl lifestyle. Overall, a classy organization on the upswing.
6. Atlanta: Would kill to play on a line with Heatley and Kovalchuk. What looks like a dynasty in the making, playing in the shadow of the Braves and Falcons. No snow either.
7. Montreal: Donning a Habs jersey is similar to a Yankees or Man U uniform. The media, on the other hand, is probably the worst in all of hockey. There’s nowhere to hide when losing, and being the goat there is no fun (ask Breezey). Not even Saku Koivu is spared from the fans wrath.
Others I’d consider: Beantown, NYR, Ottawa, Detroit, Columbus.
Where I wouldn’t want to play:
Edmonton: Bad team, worse weather, no happy way out of town. I’d be afraid to leave the house if I were an Oiler in a town that size, rumors spread quickly. The organization has good prospects, but the future remains dull with out the help of a great CBA.
Calgary: If Tortorella is my dream coach, then Sutter would be my nightmare. Boring team and a boring city.
Toronto: Holy Mackinaw, talk about molesting fans everywhere you go. I think AleMo said it best when he stated if he knew what the spotlight were like he would of stayed in Jersey.
Anaheim: It would be a cold day in hell before I played for Gordon Bombay.
Carolina and New Jersey: zzzzzzzzzzz
Washington: Worried more about criminals than annoying fans. Team has good future but a meddling owner.
Nashville: More bible thumpers than hockey fans. Boring team.
Phoenix: Nothing but sand and old people.