Photo Credit: © Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

A NMC Is Nothing To Take Personal

No Movement Clauses are a way of life in the NHL, and for the longest time the majority of them have had WINNIPEG listed in big bold letters as an NHL city that players did not care to go to for a number of reasons – weather and a non-playoff bound roster likely being the two biggest.

But as this trade deadline approaches and teams that plan on being sellers go to their star players asking them to submit their list, the concept of Winnipeg being automatically included doesn’t seem to be quite as a sure thing as it was.

Look at where the Jets are in the standings. Look at the kind of talent you get to hit the ice with. Those two factors alone can give a player pause for thought.

It sure seems like Rick Nash may feel that way. Especially as a pending UFA, why not welcome a trade to Winnipeg? Nash has avoided the harshest part of winter in The Peg for the most part, and he would get to be on a strong contender playing in front of rabid fans.. Why not spend a few months and see if the city would be a fit for his family?

On the other hand, Winnipeg still seems like a place others wish to avoid. On Saturday night we found out the Senators Mike Hoffman may be one of those players.

It does seem odd that Hoffman would rather stay in Ottawa given the turmoil that team is going through rather than come to Winnipeg, but he likely has his reasons.

That’s something important for Jets fans (and media, but mostly fans) to remember this time of year.

Don’t take it personal. It may not be you, it may be them. They have their reasons for turning down certain locations and those reasons need to be respected.

Houston Almost Had A Problem

Justin Verlander knew the writing was on the wall. The Detroit Tigers needed a rebuild and the former AL MVP, Cy-Young winner and six time all-star pitcher was going to fetch a good return to help that rebuild.

Verlander had hoped for a trade to either Los Angeles  Dodgers or Chicago Cubs, but it was the Houston Astros that had the best and most reasonable offer for the Tigers. Justin didn’t outright ever say no to a move to Houston, but he had questions. Questions about the ball park he was playing in, questions about the city that had just gone through a major flood.

Three years previous, the Astros were the laughing stock of baseball, now a serious contender. That was something players, fans and media were all getting used to. (Not unlike the situation the Jets are in if we’re being honest)

Houston is an ok city, but it is no Chicago or Los Angeles…

As rumors floated around on the internet that Verlander wasn’t fully interested in a deal to Houston, Astros fans became indignant.

“How could he reject a trade to THIS team?” and “I guess he hates winning” were some of the knee jerk reactions from fans, who as always had calm, measured responses to news that seemingly changed every other minute.

The Astros had a deal… Verlander is great.
The deal is off… Didn’t need Verlander anyway.
The deal is on, but Verlander doesn’t know if he wants to go… Is Verlander stupid?
Verlander kinda wanted to go to Chicago… This is somehow Kate Upton’s fault.

It took until almost the last minute, but Astros owner Jim Crane was able to talk to Verlander and help convince him a move to Houston was a good one. Justin signed off on the deal, Houston fans who were ready to label him as selfish for not wanting to come to Houston were quickly deleting tweets and back pedaling, everyone seemed happy and the rest as they say is history…

The point of bringing this story up is to illustrate the ups and downs a player goes through as they are asked to waive their no movement clause. The Verlander story is a bit unique in that it’s one of the few that sports fans have had inside access to in terms of what it took for two clubs to agree to a deal and the roller coaster of a ride the main player in question had to go through, and the Verlander trade story plays out like this for many players, irregardless of the actual sport.

So it’s not “us” only it kind of is, but it’s not *us*

A number of factors go into a players decision to sign in a given location when they are a free agent, but now you’re asking players to make those same considerations on a more limited scale and in a more restricted time frame.

If fans think it’s an emotional time for them, imagine how it feels for the player involved, not to mention his wife and children who need to be considered when talking about packing up everything and starting over in a new city.

Winnipeg isn’t for everyone. Neither is New York or Columbus or Buffalo or Raleigh. Players have their reasons for wanting to avoid certain cities and locations, and it’s almost never personal.

Sometimes it’s a weather thing, sometimes it’s a tax thing. Maybe it’s a desire to play in front of a certain type of fan base be it rabid where everyone recognizes you, or laid back where you can walk a mall in relative anonymity. It could be a case (such as as it seemed to be for Travis Hamonic) a location relative to friends and family thing.

Whatever the case may be, it’s a situation that should be given more respect by fans. A player that has a NMC has earned it and even as disappointing as it may be to hear a player not want to move to a city that you yourself are proud to call home, it’s worth understanding that they have valid reasons for doing so.

And it’s very likely not personal.