Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/06/13 at 06:12 AM ET
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Why did this UFA season blast off so much quicker than so many before?
The consensus was, the difference maker was the two-day talking period for agents and GMs that led into July 5....
Next season, the two-day window expands to five days. So teams can bring more players to town, the way Oilers GM Craig MacTavish did with David Clarkson.
It’s a chance to showcase neighbourhoods in which to live, schools for players’ children, and training facilities for the player. And when you are Edmonton and you can do it in July, it is all the better.
“The weather cooperated,” MacTavish said, somewhat in jest. “We make a compelling case. We don’t always get them, but neither does New York or Toronto. But we make a very compelling case.”
On one hand, the visitation period should be the great equalizer. It’s a chance for Winnipeg to show a prospective UFA its Manitoba lake country, beautiful terrain that lies closer to that city than most other towns can claim.
A team like Calgary might get a recruit and his family to the mountains for an hour or two, to help sway their decision. Los Angeles would take a player to Manhattan Beach; San Jose to wine country; Buffalo or Detroit to some of the surprisingly lovely suburbs that most are unaware of.
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