This is what happens when you haven't won in a while. You start to over-compensate by going out of your way to talk about how a player or coach really wanted to be with your team.
The latest to expose himself was Florida GM-coach-turned-GM (when he's a much better coach), Jacques Martin. Jacques said the following to Panthers beat writer George Richards on the hiring of hotshot junior coach Peter DeBoer:
"He was wanted by several organizations and picked ours,'' Martin said, as reported in George's outstanding Panthers collection of short stories, On Frozen Blog. "He likes our people, likes our roster. I was able to come to final agreement with him around noon. It's great for our franchise. Ottawa, LA and other teams were pursuing him. This speaks highly for us.''
Actually, no. It speaks poorly of your franchise that you even had to bring it up. It is downright horrendous that you brought the Kings and Senators into the discussion, implying Craig Hartsburg (Ottawa) and TBD (LA) are second choices. It is - what's the word? - lame-ass.
When I was with the Islanders, I authored a few press releases like this, quoting Mike-Neil-Garth saying something like, "[Gritty but slowish 5th defenseman] really wanted to be here," or "[hit-or-miss college free agent forward who is really kinda tiny but so is Martin St. Louis)] had plenty of options and chose the NYI."
For the record, these claims were always true. We never fibbed or were so desperate to name-drop the other teams our new players could have signed with.
Still, the practice is pretty weak. Just because the Islanders GM told me we may have out-bid or out-charmed a player for his services doesn't mean I had to include it in the release. Consider me the guilty one. No doubt there were times when even this PR guy was feeling insecure about his team, just as Jacques Martin may be about his Cats.
If he hasn't already, the GM can expect calls from Bryan Murray and Dean Lombardi. My advice to Jacques: il suffit de présenter des excuses et aller de l'avant.