Every year around TV/Movie awards time, some talent agencies have been known to send out reminders to the voters about their clients nomination; or even locations saying to choose there town to shoot a movie. With Free Agency around the corner, I couldn't resist trying to sell some of the markets that could use a big name player. This installation-- Edmonton, Alberta and the Edmonton Oilers
Sure, the Edmonton area has been seemingly snubbed with the past dealings of Chris Pronger, Dany Heatley, and other prominent free agents and possible traded players not liking the area for some reason or another. There's a lot to be intrigued about when it comes to Edmonton, and here's a few reasons why.
Team of Hype and Hope: This is a team that has the past two 1st Overall Picks in the NHL Draft and if not for a late-season injury to Taylor Hall, they may not have been in that spot. In any case, why wouldn't someone want to play in a line-up where there's a lot of attention on the young guys and you could actually guide them to the promised land a be looked at as a savior....so long as Ryan Smyth doesn't come back, of course.
New Arena Fever: Sure, when someone signs there; they'll be playing in one of the oldest buildings in the league, but there's relief. If someone signs a multi-year deal, said signee could be playing in the new home of the Oilers in their own little mini-city that owner Daryl Katz is proposing. It's like you're playing in Edmonton, but not. Plus, they'll have longevity there as the arena deal keeps the team there for 35 more years.
Hockey Weather Year Round: If you need hockey weather to get yourself more into the game, you'll want Edmonton. Sure, the wind chill can get to -40 at night and sure there's more snow than Rick James ever saw during his partying years-- but it's a great atmosphere and keeps your focus on the game and on the team. You won't have the annoyances of not wanting to play because it's too nice out and there's a beach inches from your arena-- you'll be dialed in with the weather.
On The Shoulders of Giants: Each and everyday you'll look up at the rafters or look around the arena and see what you've got to live up to. With the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Grant Fuhr plastered all over the place, Kevin Lowe in the front office, and a bevvy of other Oilers legends that will undoubtedly have their uniform number retired or re-retired or some kind of thing to delay the game for 10-15 minutes-- you'll have no choice but to gain that winning feeling for your team.
Granted, there's a lot of work for the Oilers, as they have finished 30th for the second straight season; the fact remains there's nowhere to go but upward. With a full season with the young guns that the Oilers are sure to have, this could be a great situation for many free agents.....just so long as Steve Tambellini doesn't give a player who's over-35 a crazy, long-term deal like so much Nikolai Khabibulin.