The San Jose Sharks are learning the hard way to keep their concerns about the city of Winnipeg to themselves, or at least save it for their Yelp reviews.
Per Deadspin, the Sharks on NBCS Twitter account created an international incident Sunday morning by posting interview snippets of several San Jose players responding to the question “what is your least favorite road trip destination?” Tomas Hertl said, “it’s so cold and dark there.” Justin Braun said the same, adding that the team hotel was “questionable” while wondering if Winnipeg has Wi-Fi yet. Tim Heed also put Winnipeg at the bottom of his list of NHL cities to visit in the since-deleted tweet.
— theScore (@theScore) January 9, 2018
In the annals of rivalry-starting incidents, this one seems fairly tame. The Jets got their vengeance in the form of a 4-1 victory and it could have just ended there (except for the next time the Sharks check in to that hotel, we suppose).
However, the offending tweet was noticed by CBC News, who then asked for some feedback from the hometown NHL team. They declined at the time, but it was Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, who brought the heat over those cold concerns.
“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.”
The CBC also noted that “just for the record, Winnipeg does have Wi-Fi.” That would have been the capper. However, once the story picked up steam some more, it was inevitable that someone with the Jets organization would respond and the very Canadian response eventually came from head coach Paul Maurice.
A great moment during Paul Maurice's media availability this morning. This was his answer when asked by @WFPJasonBell about the video of San Jose players complaining about #Winnipeg. A fantastic perspective from the coach. pic.twitter.com/Ofxu3yGE7G
— Tyler Esquivel (@Mr_Skeyval) January 9, 2018
“I didn’t read it so it’s dangerous to comment on the whole thing. I heard it’s cold and dark. Well, that happens in Canada, occasionally. Pretty regularly every winter. It’s dark at night. Yep, that happens pretty much around the world. I don’t think any coach, any player, trainer, referee should ever complain about a day in the National Hockey League. We got a sold-out building, pretty sure that goes into hockey-related revenues and everybody cashes their check. The thread count at your hotel isn’t right or your frappuccino isn’t frothed right…I don’t even know what a frappuccino is, but my point being, we got nothing to complain about. Pretty good life. Every day. Every city’s got a pretty darn good one.”
The earnest defense of Winnipeg and Canada coupled with a discourse on entitlement that ends with a brief discussion involving “frothed frappuccinos” was the perfect way to end this mini-incident.
Let us never speak of it again.