Mike Comrie isn't mourning the loss of his title.
Nor is he celebrating it.
Comrie takes no relief or satisfaction in being demoted (or is it promoted?) to Public Enemy No. 2 behind Chris Pronger, he just chalks it up to Edmonton's passion for all things Oiler.
"It's a city that eats and breathes hockey and they take things personally," said Comrie, a former hometown hero who's been drawing the wrath of Oilers fans ever since his contract negotiations went sideways and he demanded a trade two years ago. "When you're in this market you have to deal with things like that."
Tough as it might be sometimes.
"The thing that was so difficult for me was I couldn't separate my life from the game," said Comrie, who sometimes felt claustrophobic in the fishbowl. "Some people are better at it than others. From talking with Chris, he faced that challenge. He's six-foot-six, sticks out a little more than other players. We all have our own stories."
Everyone has a story when there's controversy swirling around the superstar - just ask the Internet. A rumour mill that spun so recklessly out of control during Pronger's exit was also spewing theories at an incredible rate when Comrie wanted out.
"It's a similar situation," he said. "A lot of the things that are said aren't true, whether players are sleeping with other players' wives or doing things they really aren't."
Nevertheless, he still likes coming back to play, even if the fans boo him every time he touches the puck.
"I had three great years here, I still have friends and family here, it's still fun to come home," he said, adding he's liking the atmosphere in the desert, too.
"Phoenix is a great place to play, we just have to start winning some games. Whether I'm (Public Enemy) No. 1 or No. 2, the only thing that we think about is winning the hockey game."