General Managers regularly call up other General Managers and discuss trade possibilities. They’ll throw players names about to gauge the market for what they have and for what they’re looking for. It is a natural corse in trying to better their teams. This is accepted by fans and media. These discussions at times lead up to trades which add intreage and dimension to the league.
So why is it so taboo if a player tells his GM that he wants to be traded? It is a reciprocal appeal met without reciprocal acceptance. If a player asks to be traded, for any reason, the media label him as unprofessional, the fans call the player a trader, a bum. In Chris Pronger’s case, after he was traded from Edmonton, the fans went as far as burning his baby’s crib (fortunately without the baby in it).
GMs want to find the right pieces for their teams, and players want to find the right fit for their careers. These two situations should be judged in the same light, but because fans are loyal to their team and don’t want to see that team or city slighted in any fashion, they get jaded towards a player who wants a fresh start after not fitting in with the team.