Eric Belanger: 'It's Going To Be Hard To Trust Anyone Else For A While In This Business'

So new Phoenix Coyotes center Eric Belanger is steamed at the Washington Capitals. Why? He claims the team told him they would give him a new contract, just as soon as they could work out a trade to free up the money. Seven weeks passed, and that trade never came, so Belanger signed with the Coyotes.

But even on his way out, Belanger is not happy. He went on the The Team 990 in Montreal to talk about his experience, and had some pretty strong words directed toward the Capitals. When asked why he chose Phoenix, who gave him less money than several other teams, Belanger had this to say (emphasis mine).

You know, it's going to be hard to me to trust anyone else for a while in this business. But [Coyotes GM] Don Maloney has been very good to us, said the right things. There's new ownership that's probably going to be in place sometime in the next few months, and they want to keep the team here.  Like I said, if things work out, they're going to take about signing me to an extension.  This is a team that wanted to sign me long term earlier in the summer, but the money wasn't there because this organization is under the NHL, but if the new owners come in and things work out, there's a great possibility to sign a long-term deal.

If you're raising your eyebrows about the fact that Belanger is hoping for a long-term extension with Phoenix at the same time he's upset at the Capitals for reneging on their supposed agreement, then you're not alone. I just hope Belanger realizes that, yes, it is a business, and sometimes, trusting that business too much can be problematic. Not to defend the Capitals necessarily, but that's just how it goes sometimes. Verbal (or, more accurately, oral) agreements are not binding in any way. He couldn't have expected the Capitals would definitely complete the necessary trades to bring him back, just like he can't expect that the Coyotes will, in fact, give him that contract extension.

Other comments:

  • Belanger on the agreement with the Capitals:  "Yeah, [I had one] for over seven weeks. I have a lease on my house, my kids are enrolled in school.  We had a verbal agreement about seven weeks ago.  They said it would take about a week to make a trade. It wasn't a question of "if" they were making it, it was a question of "when."  [They said] 'You're going to be signed, but we didn't want to lose any leverage on the trade.'  And we all know the story after that.  I'm a loyal guy, but the line has been crossed."
  • Belanger on his feelings after the Capitals elected not to bring him back: "I'm trying to take all that energy and turn it into a positive one.  It's not an easy situation for me and my family.  Like I said, the line has been crossed when my family has been involved.  That's why I have a hard time swallowing it.  But like I said, I'm turning it into positive energy, and I have to do it all over again. I have to find a house, find schools, find babysitters for the kids, all that stuff. But you know what? My wife and I will put it in the past, everybody will be fine, and it a couple months, we'll probably look at it like it was the best thing that happened to us."
  • Belanger on why he signed in Phoenix: "I feel wanted by them in Phoenix.  They showed a lot of interest for a long time, and that's where I'm going to take them."

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation DC

You must be a member of SB Nation DC to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation DC. You should read them.

Join SB Nation DC

You must be a member of SB Nation DC to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation DC. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.