SUN Hockey Pool

Players wouldn't have to go outside in 'Peg: Dawes

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:02 PM ET

There's no question the hockey side of an NHL franchise in Winnipeg would be much better the second time around.

The MTS Centre is brand new, relatively speaking, the dressing room is NHL-calibre, and the team owners would have deep pockets.

Not only that, but on practice and game days the players could probably get to and from MTS Centre without having to go outside.

"All the hockey players pretty much have garages and stuff," Winnipegger and NHL veteran Nigel Dawes said. "It's not like you have to go out and start your car or anything like that."

Their wives and girlfriends, however, wouldn't enjoy the same luxuries, and that is a legitimate question when it comes to the NHL possibly relocating to Winnipeg.

The guys wouldn't have a problem signing free-agent deals in the 'Peg, but the gals might.

"I could see that," said New Jersey Devils forward Travis Zajac, who lives about half an hour from Manhattan. "It's part of it, but there's nothing really you can do about it."

Zajac did admit there are a few more amenities in New Jersey than there are in his hometown.

"You're close to (New York City)," he said. "There's a lot of things outside of hockey you can go enjoy. That's one of the perks obviously. That's not the case in Winnipeg."

Dawes believes the weather might be the only factor in the wife or girlfriend of an NHL free agent saying, "Honey, wait a sec" before he signed on the dotted line in Winnipeg.

"It's not hard to get around Winnipeg, it's not hard to drive," Dawes said. "It's not like there's terrible schools. There's good enough schools in Winnipeg just like there is anywhere else in the world."

Dawes brought up another point, one where significant others might actually want their husbands or boyfriends to play in Winnipeg.

"Some of them might like being in the spotlight with their husbands playing in the NHL," he said.


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