They’ve had a week or two to look for a place to live, check out our restaurants and see some of the sights. So we asked a few members of the Winnipeg Jets who’ve been skating in town about their early impressions of their new home. Here’s what goalie Chris Mason (who’s from Red Deer, Alta.) and forwards Bryan Little (Kitchener, Ont.) and Carl Klingberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) had to say.
Sun: What’s your favourite restaurant, so far?
Mason: So far it’s gotta be Earl’s at Polo Park. Been there a couple of times, and it’s pretty good food.
Little: I’ve honestly had a lot of room service. I went to Earl’s the other day. I’ve been to Moxie’s, attached to the rink.
Klingberg: Tavern (United) is great, by the rink. And the other restaurant attached to the rink (Moxie’s). And Earl’s, for sure.
Sun: What sights have you seen, besides the rink?
Mason: The airport. I’ve just been running errands, haven’t done a lot of sightseeing. I went to the Forks for breakfast. I enjoyed that a lot. No beach, yet. I’ve had a few invitations, but I’ve had too much stuff going on, just getting settled.
Little: Not really anything. I basically know all the way along Portage. That’s all I’ve been driving, from the hotel to the rink. I’ve been to the Forks a couple of times. I’ve heard a lot about the beaches. That’d be nice to check that out.
Klingberg: The Golden Boy. Jimmy Roy took me to see it. I’ve been to Winnipeg Square. I’ve been to The Bay.
Sun: What are your first impressions of Winnipeg weather?
Mason: Unbelievable. We had a terrible summer in Red Deer. I don’t think we had three or four days of nice weather strung together. Every day since I’ve been here it’s been unreal. So far, a big plus there.
Little: It’s been amazing. Better than back home.
Klingberg: Great. Better than Sweden. A lot better. It’s hot, now. I have no idea how it’s going to be in the winter. But it’s great so far.
Sun: Your first impressions of Winnipeg women?
Mason: Pretty nice and friendly, actually. Everybody I’ve met here has been pretty friendly. I’ve got a chance to talk to a lot of people over the last week or so, and it’s pretty exciting being a part of this.
Little: I have a girlfriend. I will say no comment. I’m not getting in trouble.
Klingberg: Well, I’m not looking so much at women. Especially since I have a girlfriend.
Sun: How often have you been recognized?
Mason: A few times. I don’t really keep track of that, but a couple times, anyway.
Little: More than I thought. I thought once the season got started it might happen a bit more. Not necessarily people coming up to me, but at the mall, people are staring at you a bit. People have come up to me a couple of times.
Klingberg: A few times. But a lot of people maybe don’t know me like they’d know Ladd or whoever. But a few times.
Sun: Is there anything about Winnipeg that’s surprised you?
Mason: It just seems like a pretty cool city. Lots of things to do. I haven’t been to a ton of places, but it seems like there’s really good food here, just a lot of variety. More than I expected.
Little: Just the city. Before I came here, some other players almost felt bad for me going to Winnipeg. People tend not to say very nice things about it. But when I got here I was surprised how nice a city it is. It’s not a big city like Atlanta, but it’s a nice city. A good, Canadian city, which is what I like.
Klingberg: I didn’t know it’s going to be so much energy for hockey. Much more than I expected. People coming up and want your autograph and take photos. It’s really good spirit.