Crosby, Stills and Nash: ‘Treat Your Players Well’

The Boston Globe had a nice piece on Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli (login info.).
One of the interesting parts is the culture shift in Boston, moving from a place that seemed to hate its players to one that seems to respect them:

One key difference in the Chiarelli regime has been the relative ease with which players are signed, absent threats of holdouts or bitter arbitration hearings, or advice to take yodeling lessons (Harry Sinden to Joe Juneau, 1992). Take, for instance, the summer signing of Dennis Wideman, who filed for arbitration as a formality, but easily came to terms on a four-year deal worth an eye-popping $3.875 million per season.

This, right here, is the secret to success in the NHL. Treat your players well. Salary is pretty much a wash under a salary cap. If you want to attract or keep superstars, your team needs to have a reputation for being player-friendly. Marian Hossa took a huge pay cut to (presumably) win a Cup in Detroit. But I’m not sure he would have done that if Detroit’s reputation wasn’t one of treating its players well. And let’s not forget. For Boston, treating Joe Thornton well would have meant not trading him away for nothing.