Agent: Weber Preferred Philly to New York

Agent: Weber Preferred Philly to New York

Philadelphia's always been known for its small-town charm, hasn't it? I mean, when the stereotypes are trotted out, that's what gets mentioned first nearly every time. OK maybe not. But apparently being smaller-town than New York helped Philly attract an elite defenseman who'd also been courted by the Rangers. 
Katie Strang of ESPN New York reports that Shea Weber was interested in the Rangers and visited New York, but signed an offer sheet with Philadelphia, which his agent called a better fit for him

"(Weber) is a small-town guy and (New York) is a huge city," Bousquet said. "With New York, it was nothing personal. He thought everything, from the ownership to the hockey operations to the coaching, was unbelievable. (Philadelphia) just seemed to be a better fit at this time in his career."

I'd like to imagine Weber's driver took him through Times Square thinking he was one of the people who feels it's NOT a Dantean ring of Hell, and while sitting in traffic as people took pictures of advertising or a man in bikini briefs playing a guitar, he said, "Can you please just get us out of here??" 
It is not stated whether the Rangers also worked to hammer out an offer sheet, but considering how far this had gotten, with visits included and numerous teams in on possible trades as described by Darren Dreger, Flyers fans have to appreciate the bold move Paul Holmgren made to ensure Weber would be either a Flyer or a Predator next season. 
If Nashville does not match the Flyers' offer sheet, Rangers fans should really enjoy seeing Weber dress in the O&B for the next decade or so. 
Strang indicates that Weber made a similar visit to Philly, which the sides managed to keep quiet, and I guess we were somehow on our best behavior. Did Ed Snider organize all the townsfolk like Chevy Chase in Funny Farm and I missed it? In any case, nice job, everyone. 
Also, Weber musn't read Gawker
Previously>>Can Nashville match? 

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."