Something came to my mind with regards to Sidney Crosby and his exploring of playing options in Europe (which would make him vastly more money than a rookie contract in the NHL).
It's the winning factor. Not just the winning factor but his chances at Lord Stanley's Cup.
Every Canadian child is raised to revere Lord Stanley's Hardware and it's a dream come true to actually raise it over your head... So of course playing for the Cup as to playing for a European title will factor in. As will the team that surrounds Crosby.
I mean, lets face it -- while the league wants him in New York (where he would be not only in the #1 media market in North America, but also be the centerpiece to the rebuilding Rangers franchise) he would be better off elsewhere if the league wanted to make sure he was to play here instead of in Europe.
If you put Crosby on the Maple Leafs, he becomes a national icon and a new hope to getting the Maple Leafs the Stanley Cup (and Canada as a whole). If you put him on the Canucks, it makes them an upper echeleon team and also makes them the new hope in Canada.
Same goes for placing him in Edmonton or Calgary...
And in the US? If Crosby were to go to Atlanta - he'd be surrounded by talent as is... Young talent readyt o make there mark on the NHL and ready to make a playoff run. If he was to go to the Devils -- well, that's putting him next to New York and putting him on a contender once again.
And with each team that I've named, the core of players alone might be a factor in convincing Sidney to stay on the continent. Would playing with Dany Heatly and Ilya Kovulchuk sway him to stay? How about playing with Joe Thorton and Sergi Samsanov in Boston? And - dare I even suggest it -- playing with fellow Rimouski Oceanic alumni Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards and perhaps Mark Tobin in the future (this is unrealistic - not just because of the weighed lottery but also because Crosby wouldn't be rushed to play in the NHL, I don't think, by Jay Feaster)?
Payday's one factor -- glory is another... And in hockey, we've seen players opt for a chance at glory over a payday before. It all comes down to where Crosby's rights end up and who he'd be playing with if he were to sign there - and how soon he'd have a chance to win it all?