For me and some very good friends (both male + female) this is very important, because it helps building that "us" feeling with a club. Just look at how much people are already liking Dekeyser and it will only get better as he improves. I didn't want to mention the Habs because for them it's not "doing the right thing" driven its politically driven and thats hugely different to just wanting some local heroes on your team.
Anyway I guess the michigan boys on this forum will know better how important that is for them :-)
As for non of the local boys being as good well how do you/we know if they aren't getting a chance?
Who says they aren't getting a chance? You think Wings scouts travel the entire world scouring for future talent, but don't bother to check around the metro area?
I know it's cool to have a local guy on the team, but you don't go out of your way to sign someone of lesser talent just because they're local. I know it's important for "Michigan boys" to feel like they're specially chosen, but maybe that's the problem. If their only shot is getting picked because they're local, they might not be good enough.