Blog Entry

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

Posted on: August 15, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 9:32 pm
 
LaddBy: Adam Gretz

Even before the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg this summer, there were rumblings that some players around the NHL might avoid joining the Jets -- or be unhappy about doing so -- because they wouldn't want to call Southern Manitoba their home. Former Coyotes and current Flyers goalie Iyla Bryzgalov infamously stated his desire to avoid Winnipeg -- and this was when the Coyotes were the top target for relocation -- because it didn't have enough parks (of all things!), among other concerns.

Recently, Bob McCown, a radio host in Toronto, said that he had first-hand knowledge that as many as three current Jets -- and as of now they are unnamed Jets, of course -- would like to get out of Winnipeg before even playing a game.

Andrew Ladd, who was named captain of the Thrashers last season, shared his thoughts on the anonymous Jets -- assuming they exist -- with Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press. Here's Ladd's comments, via Lawless:
"I haven't heard that, but if there are guys that don't want to be in Winnipeg then we don't want them anyway," said Ladd. "We want people that want to be part of a good hockey organization that's going to create a winning culture. From everyone I've talked to -- I haven't heard any of that."
The message from Ladd is pretty clear: If you don't want to be here, get the hell out. Ladd signed a contract earlier this summer that will keep him in Winnipeg for the next five years and pay him a total of $22 million.

Now, whether or not there are players that want out -- or will actively avoid signing with Winnipeg, or veto trades to Winnipeg if they have that power in their contract -- is certainly up for some level of debate, and, hell, is probably very likely to happen at some point. One of the reasons players try to get no-trade or no-movement clauses in their contracts is so they not only have control -- and the comfort level of knowing -- where they're going to be living and playing for a certain among of time, but also so they have ability to avoid going to a place they don't want to be for whatever reason.

And that reason could be competitive, financial or simply because they don't like the area. And while this could be true of any player with any market, it could be a bigger issue for a smaller city like Winnipeg with a team that hasn't had a recent track record of playing winning hockey.

Keep in mind, the Jets organization (which was previously the Thrashers) has appeared in one playoff series in its existence and never won a postseason game. That, combined with Winnipeg's brutal climate (and if you're Ilya Bryzgalov, it's lack of parks) could be an ugly combination. The Edmonton Oilers, for example, have had some issues in recent seasons, getting turned down by players -- Dany Heatley comes to mind after using his no-trade clause to reject a trade there a couple of years ago, after demanding a trade out of Ottawa -- and has found itself near the top of the polls for least desirable places to play.

(H/T Houses of the Hockey)

Photo: Getty Images

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Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:55 am
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Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: August 19, 2011 1:30 am
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

Winnipeg is a great little city, i live here, and have seen most all of north america, trust me, here is pretty ok, we are diverse, we try not to segregate, our prime minister wouldn't leave a few dozen people stuck on a bridge after a hurricane (or here a blizzard) because he didn't care for the colour of their skin.  it is now the third week of august, we have maintained an average temp of about 28 Celcius (for about 90 consecutive days), which for your southerners is about 82 F.  c'mon people. half of bloody all north american has 3-4 shitty months of cold winter weather, and i'm not just talking about north the border.   Hell, look at arizona, for 3-4 months during the summer its too hot to even be outside.... now, stay with me here, if it is too difficult to be outside (heat or cold), whether its -30 celcius, or +100 F too uncomfortable is just that, too uncomfortable... and the bloody game is played indoors anyways..............  



Since: May 8, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:10 pm
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

Why would Ladd NOT want players on the team who basically dont hate Winnipeg? Hockey players, for the most come part, seem very humble and down to earth compared to other athletes. Winnipeg must really be a shit hole if there is a serious issue of players not wanting to play there. The ownership really hasnt made Winnipeg very attractive by being the 4th cheapest team. I just assumed they would increase their payroll after the richest man in Canada bought the team. 

So not only does the city suck, the climate sucks, and most importantly, the seam will likely suck.  




Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

Hilarious that this story quotes Bob McCown , that man doesn't have anything nice to say about anybody.Anyone can hop on air with a lame opinion and say it came from multiple sources.I actually was listening to that broadcast live, I think the only reason he had that player's didn't like Winnipeg was the lack of houses to rent , are you kidding me???  Sure, the weather is nicer in Atlanta, so what? It's not all that much different than the weather in Montreal,Toronto,Edmonton,Calgary,New York,Boston,Detroit,Chicago to name atleast a few. No one cared about hockey in Atlanta, in Winnipeg people will and actually do care.You would think that would motivate you as a player.





Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

Don't know WHY NHL-caliber players would be hesitant to play in Winnepeg.  There were all the years the Thrashers made the playoffs ... well THE year, anyway.  And Winnepeg isn't in the middle of nowhere ... geez, Fargo, ND is just 220 miles away ... though you do need a passport to get there.




Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

An offer of a large salary, and a rabid fanbase who's ready to embrace the players and team, is not enough to entice a player to go play in Winnipeg, because that player, who's playing a game that was born on frozen ponds and lakes in Canada, thinks its too cold during the winter????? Lets you know who's really calling the shots. I remember a while back when Detroit was looking to sign Roenick, but he wouldn't sign because his wife didn't want to go to Detroit. I'm so happy to see hockey back in Winnipeg. They deserve it and I look forward to seeing them on Hockey Night in Canada and whichever outlets they're being shown on!!



Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:29 am
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

re dee4338's quote "Sure the weather can be a bit nasty at times but I still find it more difficult to deal with the dreary rainy winters of Vancouver than I ever did the sunny but cold and windy days in Winnipeg." C'mon, you can count on one hand the number of people who would move from Vancouver to Winnipeg voluntarily.Wnnipeg is a nice sicty with decent people, schools, actvities but it is an outpost and the weather is extreme and for long periods. Kids are trick or treating in shirt sleeves in the rest of the country in Winnipeg they are dressed in their full winter regalia.



Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:32 am
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

The fans were supporting the team but the ownership simply didn't have the $$$ with the poor US/Cdn exchange at the time.
Not just the exchange rate but the tax structure on contracts as large as pro athletes receive.  Hard to keep or lure free agents.  No names, no lure to advertising and local corporate involvement and luxury box opportunities for the team.  It just wasn't a large enough market to compete dollarwise with the US teams.  A similar set of reasons the North Stars moved to Dallas.  It had nothing to do with fan support.  Yes both teams are American but the reasons run along the same path.  A city can lose its team even with strong fan support if it cant throw the dollars like the big boys.  Otherwise you get MLB where 26 teams are farm clubs for 5 large market teams.



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:46 pm
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

Your comment seems fairly personal related to Ladd - why would that be?  He has won 2 Cups, albeit not as the top player but why would you say that having him as captain would prevent the team from building a winning tradition?



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:43 pm
 

Ladd wants players that want to be in Winnipeg

Have any of those making negative comments actually been to Winnipeg? Or are you just repeating the cliches.  What does Ilya Bryzgalov know about the parks for example.  There are some very nice parks, golf courses, schools, etc. in Winnipeg.  It is quite culturally diverse.  Sure the weather can be a bit nasty at times but I still find it more difficult to deal with the dreary rainy winters of Vancouver than I ever did the sunny but cold and windy days in Winnipeg.  Really it's not all that different than Minnesota.

As for the comments that the fans didn't support a losing team before - please check your facts rather than rely on assumptions.  The fans were supporting the team but the ownership simply didn't have the $$$ with the poor US/Cdn exchange at the time.  The relative attendance in Winnipeg, even at its worse would be better than it is most times in Phoenix, Florida or Atlanta.


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