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‘It’s Just Dirty’: NHL Players Slam Winnipeg as Most Dreaded Road City

November 5, 2019 3:19 PM | Sports

NHL players dish on their least favourite cities to visit on the road

Winnipeg Skyline

A new poll that surveyed NHL players anonymously likely won’t be included in any future tourism materials for the city of Winnipeg.

ESPN’s NHL Player Confidential asked approximately 50 NHL players for their take on a range of topics, including their most dreaded road city to visit.

As hockey reporter Emily Kaplan put it: “The Winnipeg office of tourism will not be tweeting this story out.”

According to the player poll, 42 percent of those surveyed said Winnipeg is at the top of their do-not-visit list.

“Winnipeg. It’s always cold,” one player said. “Tough rink to play in. It’s just dirty — you walk around the city and feel like you need to wash your face after you go outside. So nothing about it is very exciting.”

“Winnipeg is just depressing,” another said. “You don’t even want to leave the hotel to get a cup of coffee.”


It’s not the first time Winnipeg has been singled out among the league’s players as being one of the “worst” to visit. In January 2018, some players on the San Jose Sharks stirred up controversy when they criticized the city as being “cold and dark.” Defenceman Justin Braun also questioned whether the city has Wi-Fi yet, because he can never get a solid Internet connection here.


But, on the bright side…

“I’m sure a lot of people said Winnipeg, but I always like Winnipeg,” a more optimistic NHLer said in the ESPN poll. “There’s stuff to do there. We’re close to the casino, if you want to go for a half hour or whatever. Wherever you go, they always have TSN on. I can’t get that here [on my U.S.-based team].”

The survey also found that the Washington Capitals have the worst visiting locker room (42 percent), the Edmonton Oilers have the best (40 percent), while 63 percent of players felt “indifferent” on whether the NHL not punishing for recreational drug use was good or bad.

Another interesting find was that 32 percent of players admitted to having a burner Twitter account to lurk and keep tabs on what the media is saying about them.

“I have one, but just to keep up on news and follow the media guys in our market. See what they’re saying about me. I would never respond to them, though,” one player said.

Another admitted to only using Twitter to “get results of golf tournaments.”