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  #41  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 10:01 PM
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True North makes statement on Coyotes situation

By: Paul Wiecek - The Winnipeg Free Press

7/05/2010 2:38 PM | Comments: 19

Source: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/bre...-93126669.html

The Manitoba Moose and True North Sports and Entertainment released a statement Friday afternoon in response to reports Thursday that negotiations with Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale next season have hit a snag.

Here’s the statement:

"While we understand the current situation with the hockey team in Glendale is an uncertain one, we will continue to respect the efforts of all parties involved to maintain the Coyotes in Arizona, including those of the National Hockey League. As we have stated many times in the past, if that situation changes, we are certainly open to reviewing the opportunity with the NHL.

"We would further point out that while Mr. David Thomson is an equity investor in True North Sports & Entertainment, he does not take an active role in the day-to-day operations of the company. Mr. Thomson is however aware of the situation involving the National Hockey League in Glendale and is very supportive of True North’s efforts to return the NHL to Winnipeg, should the opportunity arise."

True North spokesman Scott Brown said the statement is the only comment the organization will have regarding the latest developments in Glendale.

Perhaps significantly, the statement does not address a media report Thursday night that said the Moose have already made arrangements to move the franchise to Thunder Bay in the event the Coyotes move to Winnipeg next season.

Brown flatly refused to answer any further questions related to the issue.
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  #42  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Only The Lonely.. View Post
HOT OFF THE PRESS!

True North makes statement on Coyotes situation

By: Paul Wiecek - The Winnipeg Free Press

7/05/2010 2:38 PM | Comments: 19

Source: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/bre...-93126669.html

The Manitoba Moose and True North Sports and Entertainment released a statement Friday afternoon in response to reports Thursday that negotiations with Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale next season have hit a snag.

Here’s the statement:

"While we understand the current situation with the hockey team in Glendale is an uncertain one, we will continue to respect the efforts of all parties involved to maintain the Coyotes in Arizona, including those of the National Hockey League. As we have stated many times in the past, if that situation changes, we are certainly open to reviewing the opportunity with the NHL.

"We would further point out that while Mr. David Thomson is an equity investor in True North Sports & Entertainment, he does not take an active role in the day-to-day operations of the company. Mr. Thomson is however aware of the situation involving the National Hockey League in Glendale and is very supportive of True North’s efforts to return the NHL to Winnipeg, should the opportunity arise."

True North spokesman Scott Brown said the statement is the only comment the organization will have regarding the latest developments in Glendale.

Perhaps significantly, the statement does not address a media report Thursday night that said the Moose have already made arrangements to move the franchise to Thunder Bay in the event the Coyotes move to Winnipeg next season.

Brown flatly refused to answer any further questions related to the issue.
Of course. They don't want to give anyone the wrong ideas until ALL options are explored in Arizona.

Still, this is actually significant this time.

3 weeks, and the clock is ticking.
     
     
  #43  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 11:10 PM
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True North is playing their cards right. They don't want to sound like Balsillie (sp) and come across like the deal is done. If they're patient and let the NHL come to them, it seems likely that it could be done.

Comments about Kansas City are interesting. Is there enough demand for hockey down there to make a team moving their more profitable/viable than Winnipeg? I would challenge that Winnipeg has a better chance of doing well than KC, regardless of how nice the KC building is.
     
     
  #44  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 11:10 PM
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Hmm. I'll believe it when I see it. And maybe not even then.

Yesterday I was on a flight to Calgary that would then go to Winnipeg, and I got talking hockey with someone next to me as we watched the Habs vs. Pens game.

No real point to the story other than the fact he quipped "Don't you wish we both still had NHL teams?" How rude!
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  #45  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 8:40 AM
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Updated: May 7, 2010, 10:50 PM ET
Sources: Coyotes would stay in Phoenix

By Scott Burnside
ESPN.com

The City of Glendale and the Ice Edge Holdings group have agreed on all points on a new lease agreement that would keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona, sources told ESPN.com Friday evening.

The two sides are expected to sign a letter of exclusivity by early Monday morning, which will formally end the bid of Chicago sports tycoon Jerry Reinsdorf, although sources told ESPN.com that the city has not considered the Reinsdorf bid viable for some time now.

Ice Edge will not, however, agree to have its new memorandum of understanding submitted to the City Council for a vote until Glendale agrees to a number of conditions outlined by the NHL, chief among them that the city will agree to pay any operating losses the Coyotes might incur next season if a deal to sell the team collapses.

Those requirements will be discussed by City Council at its public meeting Tuesday in Glendale.

Although it's possible the city could find itself on the hook for between $20 million and $30 million in operating losses if a deal with Ice Edge or any other potential buyer moving forward collapses, it's believed Glendale will agree to the league's conditions because the NHL will exercise its right to move the team without those assurances.

It's believed Winnipeg would be the prime target for relocation, sources have told ESPN.com, and that a deal to sell the team to interests in Winnipeg could be completed quickly if Glendale cannot satisfy the league's conditions.

While the NHL's conditions are on the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting, meetings between Ice Edge officials and city officials went so late Friday that discussion of the new memorandum of understanding wasn't able to make it onto the council agenda for Tuesday's meeting. It's possible the city could convene a special session next week to approve the new lease agreement.

Assuming the city appeases the NHL and approves the Ice Edge proposal, sources say it could then take four to eight weeks to complete the sale of the team to the Ice Edge group.

A month ago the City Council rejected Ice Edge's proposal for a new lease agreement and instead accepted a more controversial proposal from a group headed by Reinsdorf. But problems arose with that bid and city officials quietly began wooing the Ice Edge group back to the table.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5172488
     
     
  #46  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 2:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DowntownWpg View Post
It'd be even sweeter watching the Jets kick the Oilers ass... they were the biggest thorn in the Jet's side. And now they are, by far, the worst team in the NHL.
Agreed.
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  #47  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 2:53 PM
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hey if we do get them back having mts center just a mater of blocks from portage and main will be that much sweeter if we win the stanly cup lol cause now they can walk up donald to the LC or into city place and buy the booz then walk a couple blocks to portage and main and party lol
I'm sure this was one of the considerations for putting the arena where it is.
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  #48  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 2:58 PM
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Deal to keep Coyotes in desert fluid
Ice Edge group, Glendale have basis for deal, report says


By: Dave Gross
8/05/2010 1:00 AM

Ice EDGE Holdings Inc.'s chances of acquiring the Phoenix Coyotes were suddenly revived Friday, and so were the chances of the Coyotes remaining in Arizona.

ESPN.com, citing sources, reported Friday night that the city of Glendale, Ariz., and Ice Edge, a group of U.S. and Canadian investors, have agreed "on all points on a new lease agreement" for Jobing.com Arena.

The website reported that Ice Edge and Glendale could sign a letter of exclusivity as early as Monday, which would put an end to Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf's bid to buy the team.

Ice Edge is reportedly waiting for Glendale council to sign off on a number of conditions demanded by the NHL, which bought the team out of bankruptcy last fall.

The league wants Glendale to agree to certain conditions regarding operating losses the team might suffer next season if it can't sell the team before the season starts.

Glendale city council is expected to discuss those conditions on Tuesday at a public meeting, the website reported.

That the league might exercise its option to sell the team if Glendale officials don't agree to the conditions sparked talk of the potential return of the team to Winnipeg, from where the Jets franchise fled in 1996.

Earlier Friday, speculation had Toronto-based billionaire David Thomson and Mark Chipman, chairman of Winnipeg-based True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd., spearheading the Coyotes' move to Winnipeg.

Thomson and Chipman are partners in True North, which owns the 15,000-seat MTS Centre and the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

A CBC report says Chipman and Thomson will get financial help from the Manitoba government for the purchase price, which is said to be US$165 million.

In an email to Canwest News Service on Friday afternoon, Ice Edge chief operating officer Daryl Jones wrote: "Ice Edge has no comments at this point other than to say that we continue to believe NHL hockey can survive in Phoenix as based on the recent playoff frenzy.

"But we also strongly support the idea of more NHL teams and NHL hockey in marquee Canadian hockey cities like Winnipeg."

Later, Jones was taking a lighthearted approach to the furor, using a quote from the Michael Corleone character in The Godfather Part III in a Twitter message: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."

The news that Ice Edge was back in the picture was a surprise, considering Glendale previously rejected Ice Edge's proposed deal and sided with Reinsdorf instead.

But Reinsdorf's deal reportedly fell through earlier in the week, causing the scramble to bring Ice Edge back in the picture.

A source familiar with Glendale council's dealings with the NHL said the league is putting a lot of pressure on the politicians.

The league wants the city to agree quickly to a lease agreement, or it will sell the club to someone who would move it, the source said.

Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, denied the league is playing hardball with Glendale. He also said in an email message that "as far as I know, there has been no change to the status of the Reinsdorf deal."

The NHL has been running the Coyotes since buying it out of bankruptcy last fall.

The organization has not turned a profit in any season since moving to Phoenix from Winnipeg in 1996.


-- Canwest News Service / Globe & Mail
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  #49  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 3:00 PM
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I just can't imagine the city of Glendale absorbing the operating losses for next year.

This is a community that had almost a 16% foreclosure rate a year ago, and an unemployment rate as high as 11%.

Will someone please tell me how this makes any sense?
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  #50  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 3:08 PM
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Well just a few weeks ago the Reinsdorf deal was a slam dunk as well...

Like I said before we are 50/50 now. It's interesting that True North seems to have a side pot with Ice Edge either way with the movement of the Moose to Thunder Bay.

Quote:
Coyotes first in NHL's stampede to Canada

Stephen Brunt

Published on Friday, May. 07, 2010 10:55PM EDT Last updated on Friday, May. 07, 2010 11:38PM EDT

Maybe Jim Balsillie's problem was that he didn't think big enough. Make It Seven? Heck, how about Make It Nine?

The rather predictable events in Phoenix over the past 48 hours, coming almost exactly a year after Jerry Moyes took the Coyotes into bankruptcy with the intent of passing the franchise to Balsillie, and to Hamilton, underscore a truth obvious even to the desperate propagandists in the NHL's head office.

There aren't a heck of a lot of palatable options around right now for ailing NHL teams that don't involved relocation to Canada.

Check that: there aren't any.

Consider that Jerry Reinsdorf, who clearly has little passion for becoming involved in professional hockey, was deemed the best choice by the league and by the city fathers of Glendale to become the 'Yotes new owner, even though massive concessions were involved, even though precious little of Reinsdorf's own money was involved, even though there was a five-year out built into the deal.

Still, that was better than whatever the Ice Edge folks were putting on the table, to the degree that there really wasn't much debate at all. The vote was nearly unanimous.

Now Reinsdorf and his cold feet are gone – the looming battle with the Goldwater Institute alone would have given him hives – and Ice Edge is back in, by default, the absolute last-gasp possibility for delaying the inevitable.

Everyone who thinks that the league could have saved itself a whole lot of trouble by brokering a deal with Balsillie, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres, is feeling awfully smug right now. But still, fixating on that single screw-up and this single franchise obscures a larger point.

In Winnipeg, David Thomson awaits, one of the richest people on earth, ready and willing to buy the Coyotes or another team and move them into the MTS Centre. Would the team be profitable in those cozy confines? Would Winnipeggers ante up in the necessary numbers for high-priced NHL tickets? Hard to know, but since Thomson isn't asking for guarantees or hand-outs or subsidies or special tax zones, it apparently doesn't matter all that much to him.

A five-minute conversation with Marcel Aubut, mover, shaker, backroom political operative, corporate lawyer, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, former owner of Les Nordiques and former vice-chairman of the NHL board of governors, will convince you pretty fast that a new, government-underwritten arena in Quebec City is all but a foregone conclusion.

And unlike the building in Kansas City – strange that no one's talking about that much anymore – it is pretty certain that if they build it, someone will come.

Meanwhile, there are at least two groups of financial heavy-hitters jockeying for position to win what is perceived as the biggest prize – a second NHL team in Toronto – both of which have made their intentions known to the league, and have not been discouraged in their quest.

Of course there are a couple of rather large obstacles to surmount: the construction of a new arena, and the territorial claims of the Maple Leafs. But the folks involved are of the calibre not easily dismissed, and they seem to believe strongly that it's only a matter of time until they are given the green light. (The league would still prefer to auction a Southern Ontario expansion team to the highest bidder not named Balsillie, but now may be forced to use the market to solve a more pressing problem.)

Barring a spit-and-binder-twine deal with Ice Edge, which even if announced could unravel just as fast as the Reinsdorf deal did, Phoenix-to-Winnipeg to start the 2010-11 season seems a reasonable bet – so reasonable, that a schedule has already been drawn up for just that eventuality.

And who else might be crossing the great unguarded border?

The Atlanta Thrashers, certainly. There is almost no there there? right now. And of late, a new name has entered the mix: the New York Islanders. Whispers are that for a price, you could have them, and move them all but instantly.

The conversation would be different if the Canadian dollar was hovering around 65 cents, rather than at its current heights – and the NHL salary cap would be rather different as well. Even at that, there's no assurance that new teams here – including a second Toronto team – would represent a licence to print money. Is there really that much more national and regional television revenue, for instance, to spread around?

But there are willing franchise buyers, there are willing ticket buyers, there is a thriving hockey culture. Look south to potential markets, and you'll find none of the above.
     
     
  #51  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 3:28 PM
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A great article by Paul Wiecek in today's paper..

Don't bet on Jets yet. An obvious bargaining ploy?

By: Paul Wiecek | The Winnipeg Free Press - 8/05/2010 1:00 AM

Could it be?

That was the headline on the TSN home page Friday afternoon, emblazoned in bold 'Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbour' typeface above a picture of Keith Tkachuk in a Winnipeg Jets jersey.

Could it be? It is a headline that simultaneously couldn't be more tantalizing -- especially around here -- or more journalistically gutless.

Because sure, it could be. Anything could be. Heidi Klum could be my next wife, which is just as tantalizing -- for me, not her -- and just about as likely to happen before next winter.

It took until the fifth paragraph of the actual TSN story -- a breathless dissertation on how Jerry Reinsdorf's deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale was on the ropes and Ice Edge has been summoned back to the negotiating table as the last thing keeping the NHL from returning to Winnipeg -- to get to the nub of what I think the real story is here. To wit:

"Sources close to the situation are also concerned Glendale may be using Ice Edge as leverage to lure Reinsdorf back into discussions and perhaps, into a revised proposal that is far less reliant on city subsidies."

Gee, do you think? Do you think it might be possible that negotiators in Glendale realized they'd be in a better bargaining position with Reinsdorf right now if they hadn't needlessly punted the Ice Edge bid to the curb when they approved Reinsdorf's last month?

That to me was always the most surprising thing about the actions of politicians in Glendale last month. Everyone was up in arms on how city councillors had sold the farm to Reinsdorf, but American cities do that all the time for team owners. What surprised me is they cut their own hamstrings at the negotiating table by rejecting the Ice Edge bid entirely.

So they finally realized that and asked Ice Edge to come back to the table and will now, presumably, negotiate with them and vote on their proposal. That is hardly earth-shattering news, I think, and vastly different than saying the Reinsdorf bid is now 'dead,' any more than the Ice Edge bid was ever 'dead' -- any more than anything is ever dead in a place that is, after all, named after a bird that rose from the ashes.

So where does that leave us? Could it be?

The rumours have certainly been running in overdrive in Winnipeg for the past week. The Moose have asked for/received/are considering bids to raise the roof at the MTS Centre to put in more seats for the NHL -- that was one rumour. The Moose have stopped selling season tickets -- that was another. The Moose have dug up Ben Hatskin? That was, well, actually I made that one up. But hey, when in Rome...

True to form, the locals behind an NHL bid continue to do themselves and this community a disservice by not setting the record straight. A feeble press release on Friday was pointless, addressing what we already know -- True North and billionaire David Thomson are interested in moving an NHL team to Winnipeg -- while ignoring the only thing in Thursday's media reports that I found new and significant, the suggestion on ESPN.com that plans have already been made to move the AHL's Manitoba Moose to Thunder Bay for next season in anticipation of an NHL team.

Spokesman Scott Brown bristled when I asked for a comment on the Thunder Bay report -- I think Moose fans deserve at least that -- and reverted back to his standard default position: no comment.



So we're left with what we do know about the Phoenix situation.

Look, unlike a lot of folks in these parts lately, I don't proclaim to be an expert in the intricacies of Glendale civic politics, Arizona public finance law or right-wing watchdog groups like the Goldwater Institute. (Barry Goldwater? He's your inspiration? Seriously?)

But I do know a little about politics and a little about math and an analysis of the present situation through the prism of those two disciplines yields the following equation:

(Two active bids to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix) + (A city with a $180 million investment in a hockey arena and the already demonstrated political will to keep an NHL team playing there) + (a league determined to keep the Coyotes exactly where they are, no matter what) does not equal the Coyotes playing in Winnipeg next year.

On the contrary, it adds up to the Coyotes staying exactly where they are.

Now that doesn't mean the latest developments aren't a serious wrinkle. They are. And in fact, I believe there will be more serious wrinkles -- and more hysteria -- to come. This whole Coyotes deal has brinksmanship written all over it and it says here that this deal will get done at precisely one minute before midnight of whatever deadline soon emerges.

And the real hysteria is yet to come in this town. Because with politicians in Glendale seemingly now balking -- or at least posturing that way -- at paying any price for the Coyotes, the next play by the NHL head office is obvious: A planted story in the media -- you'll find my email address at the bottom of this column, Gary -- about how the NHL is seriously considering/on the verge of/in serious discussions toward moving the Coyotes to Winnipeg.

If that sounds cold and calculated and something that would show cavalier disregard for the hopes and dreams of the entire province of Manitoba, remember we are talking about Gary Bettman here.

And such a leak/plant/public pronouncement by the NHL about Winnipeg would have the effect of lighting a fire under politicians in Glendale -- use it or lose it fellas -- to get a deal done to keep hockey in the desert.

Look -- Could it be? Of course, someday.

But for now? Let it be.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca




Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 8, 2010 D1
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  #52  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 6:07 PM
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Would anybody with even a small brain keep the Coyotes in Phoenix without having the teams losses covered by the public, the franchise has lost more than $300 million since moving to the Valley from Winnipeg and were put into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. Best of luck convincing Glendale AZ for this in one of the most right wing parts of the US.

But then again those living in Phoenix have a lot of disposable income as homes cost less than half of what they do in even Winnipeg.
     
     
  #53  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 9:54 PM
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^ And the city is full of rich north-easterners wintering in the sun.

I wouldnt mind seeing hockey back in winnipeg, but am I the only one who would rater see Seattle with a team first? I think that is a market underserved by sports with pretty good grassroots hockey. Growing up in Vancouver we played a fair amount of tournaments in Seattle and there were no shortage of teams. If Butthead wants to grow the game south of the border, I dont know why Seattle hasnt been a market eyed before, it seems like a natural fit.

I guess the key-arena/sonics debacle might have put some people off though.
     
     
  #54  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 10:04 PM
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I wouldnt mind seeing hockey back in winnipeg, but am I the only one who would rater see Seattle with a team first?
My guess is "yes".
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  #55  
Old Posted May 9, 2010, 3:35 AM
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^ And the city is full of rich north-easterners wintering in the sun.

I wouldnt mind seeing hockey back in winnipeg, but am I the only one who would rater see Seattle with a team first? I think that is a market underserved by sports with pretty good grassroots hockey. Growing up in Vancouver we played a fair amount of tournaments in Seattle and there were no shortage of teams. If Butthead wants to grow the game south of the border, I dont know why Seattle hasnt been a market eyed before, it seems like a natural fit.

I guess the key-arena/sonics debacle might have put some people off though.
Seattle needs an arena before anything can happen team wise. Otherwise, I'm with you on them deserving a team. It would be an amazing addition and would have an instant rival in the Canucks. However, Canada needs another team (either in Winnipeg, Quebec City, or more deservingly Hamilton) before Seattle gets one.
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  #56  
Old Posted May 9, 2010, 4:19 AM
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As far as American cities go, I'd love to see Seattle get a team. That said, I agree that it should happen only after Winnipeg (and Quebec City, IMO) gets a team.
     
     
  #57  
Old Posted May 9, 2010, 6:04 AM
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I can guarantee you the Canucks franchise will kick up a fuss and work to block any movement of a team to Seattle.
     
     
  #58  
Old Posted May 9, 2010, 4:40 PM
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If Winnipeg gets a team, Edmonton will no longer be the last place a player would want to play. Ü
     
     
  #59  
Old Posted May 9, 2010, 5:30 PM
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Oh, how intelligent.
     
     
  #60  
Old Posted May 9, 2010, 6:05 PM
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If Winnipeg gets a team, Edmonton will no longer be the last place a player would want to play. Ü
Canadian markets are a blessing and a curse at the same time. If I was a player (especially a top prospect), last places I'd want to play would be in any Canadian market (Especially Toronto and Montreal). Too much media scrutiny, too many expectations. I'd rather end up somewhere like Colorado, Dallas, or Detroit where there isn't as much media attention, and I could develop more as a player without losing focus.
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