One of the key issues in the NHL's lockout is the difference in revenues for teams in large markets compare to those in smaller markets.
New Penguins forward Tanner Glass has experienced life as a player in large and small markets the past two seasons. In 2010-11, he played in metropolitan Vancouver, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010. During the 2011-12 campaign, he joined the new Jets franchise for its first season in Winnipeg, a market which the NHL vacated in 1997.
Last week, Glass, who also spent two seasons playing for the Florida Panthers, talked about the differences in playing for varying markets.
You played for Vancouver and Winnipeg the past two seasons. Where there any differences?
"Winnipeg doesn’t really behave like a small market. They’re a team that’s going to get you everything. Do everything they can to behave like a big market. The travel was unbelievable. The meals at home and on the road, anything for the wives was really first rate. That being said, when I was in Florida, it wasn’t the same. Little things, like when you get to the airport and you’d wait for the plane. Little logistical things that made life a little harder."
Do those things make a difference to a player in free agency?
"Yeah definitely. You’ve got to know that the organization is committed to winning. Little things like making sure you’re fed really well at home and on the road. Staying in a nice hotel. Making sure you’re not waking up in the morning for silly things. Traveling early in the morning to save a bit of money here or there. Those things matter. When an organization says they wants to win, those are the things they can do to show you they want to win."
Do those differences also apply to an organization's staffing?
"Definitely. Whether they have a massage therapist full time or different doctors that specialize in different things. It’s been a few years since I was in Florida – not that the staff they had wasn’t very good – but they had to outsource a few things. In Vancouver and Winnipeg, it was really first class all the way. Whatever they could do to help us to win, was done."
How have the Penguins' staff treated you in your brief interactions with them?
"The week I did have with the equipment and medical guys was great. They were really attentive and made sure I had everything I needed coming in. It’s important for a new guy to feel welcome right away and to feel like you don’t have to be shy. Everything I’ve had (from the Penguins) has been first rate for sure."
The preseason has been canceled until the end of September. How much would those games benefit you as a new player on the team?
"It would definitely help. I haven’t met the coaches in person yet. But we have a pretty good group of guys here. A mature group. Guys who are going to push each other during this lockout and are also good in helping me figure out the city and the organization and life in Pittsburgh."(Photos: First-Marianne Helm/Getty Images; Second-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)