San Jose Sharks players slam 'cold and dark' Winnipeg as worst NHL city to play in
Winnipeg CEO offers to show Sharks around city once NHL playoffs come and they have time on their hands
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.
"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."
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.
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.