|George Parros's facial expression upon realizing he plays for the Florida Panthers|
While I think it is really awesome when a player like Mario Lemieux is able to play for one team his whole career,* It never really bothers me when teams and players have to part ways. Whether it is simply a matter of money, or it is the player hoping they can finally win a cup and signing with what they see as a more competitive team,** or a team trading a player they no longer see as part of their plan to win the cup .***
Hockey is something I watch for fun, but to the people involved with it, it is their job. Good GMs have to build a team based on their ability to win games, not based on who the fans want to see on the ice, so they have to make trades or choice not to resign popular veteran free agents if they do not see them as being part their plan for the team.
In terms of players leaving for greener pastures: let's say you have a favorite bar that you go to a few times a month, and their is a bartender their who is great with the customers, then one day you show up and find out he got a better job offer at a different bar. If he comes back to visit the first bar a few months later are you gonna paint up signs telling him he sucks now, or boo him when he walks in the door? I really hope not.
Hockey players will have, in the best case scenario, until they are in their early 40's to earn money playing hockey, so it is understandable to me that they when they are up for free agency they would choose to sign with teams that will either 1. pay them the most 2. will give them the best shot at whatever their non-monetary goal is (winning the Stanley Cup, playing for their hometown team, sleeping with Carrie Underwood).
*And I think someone like Lemieux is just a total class act to have allowed the 'guins to defer a huge chunk of his salary to prevent them from running the fuck out of money, rather then going to another team, I get that this is very very are behavior not just in hockey or sport, but almost anywhere. (sohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Lemieux#1997.E2.80.932000:_Post-retirementurce)
**As just happened with the Ottawa senators long time captain Daniel Alfredsson.
***As the Flyers seem to do with any player I have ever heard of on their team pretty much every other season
This article from Puck Daddy about fans seeing Alfredsson as a bad guy got me thinking and cause me to write this post.