Winnipeg Jets Will Struggle to Overcome Perception as Hostile Market

March 27th, 2014 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

The Winnipeg Jets have their share of struggles when it comes to attracting free agents. The city is one of the NHL’s smallest markets, remote compared to other options and much colder in the winter than the vast majority of alternatives.

It really isn’t a city that needs a reputation for ripping the players willing to play there, yet it seems obvious that such a reputation has developed.

Here’s what Jets forward Bryan Little told the Winnipeg Sun’s Kirk Penton on Wednesday:

We were joking around before that only in Winnipeg someone would say negative comments about the birth of a child. Then I heard someone actually did. I’d like to say I’m surprised, but I’m not.

Little’s comments are in reference to a decision made by team captain Andrew Ladd to miss Monday’s game against the Dallas Stars to stay home with his wife, who gave birth to a baby girl, and the criticism he faced as a result of that choice.

Local radio host Troy Westwood was the most prominent voice criticizing Ladd for missing the game (h/t The Huffington Post):

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