The Culture of Fans, Part II

Yesterday, I talked about the culture of fans and how it’s something GMs might want to consider. Today, I have more proof: the Ducks, one of the NHL’s best teams right now, isn’t drawing fans (login info.). If you look at the history of the Ducks, the team identity revolves around Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, two flashy, quick forwards not really known for their physical play. Now, look at the Ducks’ two big players now: defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger; two amazing players, but completely different from Kariya and Selanne (who is still a Duck, by the way, but no longer the focal point Niedermayer and Pronger now are). So yeah, GM Brian Burke has done a great job assembling a winning team, but if the fans don’t like that kind of team, is he really doing the franchise a service?
Also, congratulations to Flyers coach John Stevens on his two-year contract extension. I hope he doesn’t notice the Flyers gave ex-coach Ken Hitchcock a three-year extension just about 60 days ago.