Josh Cooper of Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy wrote an article yesterday saying it would be best for McDavid and Eichel to go to Arizona and Carolina. Not Edmonton and Buffalo.
You can read his article here: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/jack-eichel-and-connor-mcdavid-must-go-to-carolina-or-arizona-041542314.html
It’s completely and utterly unfair to dismiss Buffalo and Edmonton because they are already hockey markets. Basically in Cooper’s logic if fans want a superstar, they have to stop supporting the team, so that the market can then improve. How about instead of trying over and over and over to make non-traditional hockey markets into great ones, we reward markets like Buffalo and Edmonton for their continued support no matter what. The two worst teams in the league are Buffalo and Edmonton. And guess what the Sabres attendance is 96.1% this season and Edmonton’s is 100%, compared to Arizona’s of 74.4% and Carolina’s pathetic showing of 66.8%. What a joke. Those teams deserve McEichel more than us? Really!?! We should be strengthening our fan bases that have been going through hard times with the on ice product. Maybe we should keep Edmonton and Buffalo bad because the fans will always show no matter what right? Wrong.
A prime example of this is the New York Islanders. In the 1980s during their glory years Long Island was the place to be for a hockey fan. Everyone loved the team, supported the team, and went to games. Then the Islanders started to tail off in the 1990s. Attendance stayed good for a long time, but they reached a breaking point in the late 1990s. The fans had enough of the losing and stopped showing up. Attendance hit rock bottom for the Islanders in 2000 when they were dead last in the league averaging just over 11,000 fans a night. It takes time to grow a fan base back. From 2005 to 2013 the Islanders were dead last in attendance 6 times and the other 2 years they were 2nd last. They’re just now starting to improve, because they’re actually good now and this is the final season in that area of Long Island. Of course fans are going to show up now.
Why risk losing great hockey markets. Edmonton is the best hockey city in Canada, in my opinion, and Buffalo is the best hockey city in the United States. Biased I know, but anyone would admit Buffalo is near the top if not on top. Why should me as a Buffalo Sabres fan, loyal as can possibly be, be punished because we have to appease the fans that don’t care about the sport. Josh Cooper should delete his article and should be ashamed of the thought that McDavid or Eichel in Phoneix and Raleigh is better than in Buffalo and Edmonton. It’s comical.
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