Blake Wheeler joined the guys on NHL Live to talk about the team’s recent success. They concluded the interview with E.J. Hradek asking what it was like for Wheeler as a Minnesota guy to be playing up in a market north of the border.
The answer given by Wheeler struck me as similar to what we’ve heard from former Winnipeg Jets star Dale Hawerchuk who has spoken previously about the close bond (“had a few foursomes at Breezy Bend”) that develops for a team in a city like Winnipeg.
Wheeler on being in Winnipeg and whether he’s enjoyed it said “We have enjoyed it. It’s been great for all of our families. We’re all in such close proximity to each other. I think all of our wives are probably closer in Winnipeg than they would be anywhere else. They spend a lot of time together, our kids spend a lot of time together, so there’s really a family feel amongst our team up in Winnipeg and even more so this year. You can really sense that our group has really come together and the people of Winnipeg have really embraced us as well. They have been outstanding from the way they sell out every game, the way they cheer for us and the patience they’ve shown since we’ve came back, waiting for our team to get over that hump. It’s been a great change for everyone.”
You can listen to his answer (starts at 5:31 mark) here:
Fans have to hope that continued growth and development of these players will also mean a post-season appearance for the first time in Winnipeg since the return of NHL hockey.