From Luke DeCock of the News & Observer:
The emails keep coming in reacting to Monday’s column, which told the story of how the Hurricanes’ trade of Erik Cole affected one particular fan, while touching on the bigger picture of how fans relate to players.
Deborah Halaby isn’t the only one giving up her tickets. One reader emailed me today to say she was giving her tickets to her sons because she couldn’t imagine going to a game without her No. 26 jersey. Another is getting Center Ice instead of her season tickets. “That doesn’t mean I won’t follow the Canes or ever go to a game,” she wrote, “but in a time of tightening resources we fans have to make hard choices too.”
(Which speaks to the heart of the column: As much as we can’t begrudge teams for making business decisions about players, they can’t begrudge us for making the same decisions about tickets, or in her case, Center Ice. )
Now, we’re talking about a very small number of fans — hardly a statistically significant number — but I’m beginning to suspect that fans’ ties to Cole ran far deeper than Hurricanes management may ever have imagined.
Read the entire entry from Talking Points here.
Ultimately, most fans care about their team winning championships. However, some fans do take it personally that their favorite players/people have been sent elsewhere and as DeCock points out, they have every right to react whatever way they so choose. But at the end of the day, the Canes would still make the Pitkanen-for-Cole trade because it is the on-ice product that Jim Rutherford is most focused on. While that may sometimes seem heartless, if Rutherford doesn’t make decisions based on that, he will eventually be without a job. You know the old saying: “If you listen to the fans long enough, you will soon be sitting with them.”