Last week the WiiM staff were standing around the water cooler and trying to find anything NHL-related to talk about. Eventually, thanks to Pierre-Luc Dubois suggesting he would be rather play in Montreal than Winnipeg, we found our way to “which NHL organization would we most like to be a part of? You can’t say Detroit.” After chewing the possibilities, several of us came up with some answers. I think we all presumed we would do so as players ala EA NHL, but the possibility was there to consider yourself in other positions as well. We also considered at least four factors:
- The Team
- The Organization
- The City
- The Fanbase
And keep in mind, if this seems like a funny exercise, we’re a hockey blog and it’s August. And we’ve pretty much all played ‘Be a Pro’ in EA NHL and continually reset the game until we got drafted by the team, so like, we’ve all played this game. And we’re a hockey blog and half the time we’re pretending to be a general manager anyway. So without further ado, here are the responses from some of our staff:
Mike: The easy answer for me would be to say Minnesota because I already live there, but I think Kaprizov hides some C+ management in Saint Paul. There are better options out there for me if I just think a little bit harder.
No, I’d need to live and work in a place that felt a little bit more like home, I think, to get over the shock of actually being in the employ of an NHL franchise. A place that reminds me a bit more of the lonely strip of highway between Flint and Lansing, the type of town where everyone on Friday night is at the high school game because there’s nothing better to do. A town where teenagers hang out in the Meijer parking lot, dream about seeing Lake Michigan for the first and last time this summer, and participate in Drive-Your-Tractor-to-School Day. It feels like everyone says this town sucks (most of the time coming from the town itself), and your deepest fear is that they’re right.
So naturally, I’d want to play in Winnipeg. Sure, the media coverage would suck, and something something taxes. But it fills a bunch of boxes for a better work environment than an org where Jeremy Jacobs signs your checks. A team of players that I don’t actively hate? Check. Solid organization with strong drafting? Double check. Uniforms that aren’t the Coyotes’? Thank God. Lovable, boring misfit city with confidence issues that lives for sports? Absolutely. Maybe they even have Drive-Your-Tractor-to-the-Rink Day.
Sara: I would want to be part of the Minnesota Wild. I’m not worried about winning, although winning would be fine I guess. Just not losing constantly would be enough. I don’t know much about the Minnesota fanbase but I assume they have something, and they probably have some annoying media people like everyone does, but I think I could play for the Wild without being constantly criticized and could just kind of vibe.
Play for the Wild, live in the Wilds and be a forest hermit when I’m not playing. Plus, I can live with wearing their logo and colors every day. Why not?
Jeff: I’d choose Colorado. From an organizational standpoint, they have a winning pedigree with plenty of legends having walked through those arena doors and stepped on that ice. The city of Denver is beautiful, and I love skiing, so it would be perfect. Not to mention, the fanbase is as passionate as any in the league. Seems like the perfect fit for me, although this choice was certainly harder than I anticipated.
Riley: Look, I know that their social media team is a laughingstock who constantly gets dunked on (and rightfully so) by every other social account and fan in the NHL. But that doesn’t take away what an awesome city Nashville is. I’m a sucker for Nashville barbeque and downtown Nashville at night is an awesome place to be. Paired with the city is a passionate fanbase who is as loud as just about anyone in the NHL. Is the catfish thing a bit goofy? Sure but they get behind their team, especially in the playoffs which, by the way, they’ve made in 15 of the last 18 seasons just five years after the franchise was born. And to top it all off, I love their sweaters and think they’re one of the best in the entire league.
J.J.: If I were an NHLer who couldn’t play for my beloved Red Wings, the only real easy answer is in Seattle where you benefit from being close to Canada but not in the crosshairs of their media market and playing in front of a fanbase just happy to be there and in a state with no income tax.
But that’s boring. Give me Boston and let me just heel it right up in front of those Massholes. Let me ingratiate myself to that toxic sludge by picking fights with every one of their rivals and infuriating those fanbases that I hate... and then let me walk in free agency to Detroit with two middle fingers in the air and a full page newspaper ad in the Boston Globe’s sports section that explains everything I was saying about The Habs and Leafs fans all those years I also meant about Bruins fans.
So those are our feelings on the subject. If you were part of an NHL team that wasn’t Detroit, which would it be and why?