San Jose Sharks players slam 'cold and dark' Winnipeg as worst NHL city to play in

In a video posted to the Twitter page for NBC Sports California, three San Jose Sharks players slammed Winnipeg, deriding it for being cold and dark, as well as for its lack of Wi-Fi. The team was in the city on Sunday to play the Jets, who soundly defeated them 4-1.

Winnipeg CEO offers to show Sharks around city once NHL playoffs come and they have time on their hands

(Sharks on NBCS/Twitter)

Some San Jose Sharks have snapped at Winnipeg, deriding the city as their least favourite one to visit.

In a video posted to the Twitter page for NBC Sports California, before the game on Sunday, Sharks' sniper Tomas Hertl said he doesn't like the city because "it's so cold and dark there."

Defenceman Justin Braun echoed those remarks, adding that the hotel the team stays at is "questionable" and wondering if Winnipeg has Wi-Fi yet.

Tim Heed, another defenceman, also ranked Winnipeg at the bottom of the heap.

The team was in the city on Sunday for a game against the Jets, who soundly defeated them 4-1.

A spokesperson for the Winnipeg Jets said the club has seen the video but preferred to not respond specifically about it. Scott Brown did, however, say he is quite aware of some people's erroneous views of the city.

Centreman Tomas Hertl is one of three San Jose Sharks players who said Winnipeg is the worst NHL city to play in. (Sharks on NBCS/Twitter)

"The widely held misperception of the city is one of the challenges we face as an organization and one of the reasons we always say it is important for us as an organization to treat the players properly and show them what a special organization and place this can be," he said.

Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, said it's not really a mystery why Hertl, Braun and Heed are gloomy Gusses.

"Given that the Jets beat the Sharks 4-1, I can understand that they don't like Winnipeg. It's never fun to lose," she said, offering to help them see the city in a better light.

"Once the NHL playoffs get into full swing and the Sharks have some more time on their hands I'd be happy to tour them around and show them all that Winnipeg has to offer — festivals, food trucks, sunshine, world-class attractions and one of the best culinary scenes in the country.

"If they want to take me up on my offer, we could even invite them to a Jets playoff game."

A still image from a Twitter video shows Sharks defenceman Justin Braun talking about visiting Winnipeg. (Sharks on NBCS/Twitter)

Spiring also noted the Sharks players have their facts wrong. Winnipeg is actually the second most sunny city in Canada with an annual average of 2,353 hours of sunshine, just below Calgary at 2,396.

As for temperatures, Braun's home city of Minneapolis is much the same as Winnipeg. 

Winnipeg's average temperatures range between –12 C in the winter months to 26 C in summer. Minneapolis has an average of –9.1 C to 23.2 C.

Winnipeggers react to chirps about their city

5 years ago
Duration 0:50
After the San Jose Sharks tweeted a video of some of their players saying Winnipeg is the worst city to play in, we asked Winnipeggers to respond.

Hertl is from Prague in the Czech Republic, where the temperature range is –3 C to 25 C. And Heed's home of Gothenburg, Sweden, where winter temperatures average –3 to 3 C and summer temps average around 20 C.

And just for the record, Winnipeg does have Wi-Fi.


Darren Bernhardt spent the first dozen years of his journalism career in newspapers, at the Regina Leader-Post then the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. He has been with CBC Manitoba since 2009 and specializes in offbeat and local history stories. He is the author of award-nominated and bestselling The Lesser Known: A History of Oddities from the Heart of the Continent.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?