So with free agency upon us this Sunday and trade buzz picking up, I've recently done my fair share of dreaming for the right pieces for this team moving forward. We all mention Parise, Suter, Nash, Semin, Weber, etc. and then quickly dismiss them as pipe dreams, because "why would any of those guys want to come to Dallas?" Well, my question is why not? Sure, the likelihood of any one of these guys signing with us is still 1 in 30 (maybe 1 in 10-15 of those actually in play), but that's still a shot, and we shouldn't necessarily sell the franchise short.
First of all, it's pretty well known that guys like Suter and Parise have both stated that they are looking for long term deals. So would it not make sense to sign with a team that is building for the long-term with lots of youth that would likely stay with that team during their tenure? I'm not talking about just your perennial contenders and well run franchises like Detroit...as even they have had back to back 1st round exits the last couple years. Or you have your teams that are always great in the regular season, but choke when it matters (alla Vancouver, Washington, San Jose, and even Chicago). Why wouldn't you want to land in a place that has already gone thru the worst part of their rebuild process, and is well on their way to becoming a young threat for years to come? Sure, it may take 1-2 years where you're not guaranteed a legitimate run for the Cup, but what is 1-2 years in the grand scheme of a 7-10 year contract?
Secondly, we have to remember that we won the Cup just a few years after a rebuilding process. All it takes is a piece here and there each season, and you jump from non-playoff team, to playoffs, to Cup Contender (ex. LA Kings)...gosh, remember how awful they were just a couple years ago? These players surely recognize that when the core of the team has some solid young pieces to build around...a piece or two can be all that's needed to push that team over the edge.
Finally, it's Dallas. We are not talking about the great white North of Winnepeg or Edmonton. We're not talking about Detroit (no offense to anyone from there), Minnesota, or Phoenix. We are located in one of the best cities in North America. We have great food, beautiful women, good schools, an outstanding real estate market for what their money can buy, no state income tax, ample night life, and great golfing weather during the hockey season (most players go elsewhere during the summer- so no need to have the heat count against us there). If they can make big bucks here and keep more of it than they would with other teams, enjoy what the city and state have to offer, and be a part of a team that is being built for the long haul under new and invigorated ownership, then why not?
Every player is going to be looking for something particular out of their UFA status and consider that when choosing where to ultimately sign. I'm not saying that any of what I just listed is on Suter or Parise's minds, but I think it's better to put the "why wouldn't you want to come here" vibe out there for them to see all over the place versus the alternative. I've seen so much negative surrounding our chances at landing a big UFA, and while I do want to stay realistic and not get my hopes up, I definitely think we shouldn't sell this franchise short. It's undoubtedly been thru a tough time these last 4 years, but man am I excited about where the team is headed...fans and free agents alike should be too.
They may still be a pipe dream, but who knows, maybe we've got a little of what they're looking for.