The recent trolling from the San Jose Sharks calling Winnipeg the worst city to play in hit a sour note with Patrik Laine.
The Winnipeg Jets star forward did an interview with The Players Tribune and in the article defends the city he now calls home.
“I mean, I heard some guys talking bad about the city and that Winnipeg was not a good place,” Laine said in the piece posted Tuesday on the Tribune’s website. “What do they know? I love Winnipeg. This is my home.
“I think the best thing to happen to me last year was falling in love with Winnipeg.”
The article is written in the first person and puts Laine’s name in the byline but the forward clarified Tuesday that he didn’t write it.
“I did an interview one day at the rink,” Laine said after Tuesday morning’s skate, adding the only time he puts pen to paper is for autographs.
In the article Laine said the only thing better than Winnipeg is destroying his teammate Nikolaj Ehlers in the video game Call of Duty. He goes on to detail how the game is a big part of how he spends his free time on the road.
Laine moved to Winnipeg after he was selected second overall by the Jets in the 2016 NHL Draft. Since then, he has impressed on the ice, netting 36 goals in his rookie season alone. The article notes in his first year in the league, he didn’t feel too much pressure and was able to enjoy playing the game.
“So I scored,” Laine said. “And I remember every goal. Like, I’m not kidding. I can tell you who got the primary assist, secondary assist, who I scored on, what the situation was … all that stuff.”
One likely reason Winnipeg feels like home to Laine is that his mom moved here as well and lives with him.
“Why would you want to cook your own food?” the 19-year-old asked in the article. “She still drives me home from games, just like she did in Finland. She comes to every home game. It’s very nice. In Winnipeg, everyone looks out for you.”
He also details his first impression of his teammates. Mark Scheifele stood out to him as liking to pass. Ehlers was “sneaky” and Dustin Byfuglien “hits hard.” He was surprised by now captain Blake Wheeler’s skills, writing he “blew him away”.
He also had to lot to say about what Laine fans are fixated on – his facial hair. While it’s superstition for hockey players to grow playoff beards, Laine has taken a different approach. He said he stated growing his current beard because his cousin asked him to. It seems to have taken on a life of its own.
IN PICTURES: A look at Patrik Laine’s beard progression
“Now the guys in the room are telling me I look like I’m Amish,” Laine wrote. “I didn’t get it at first. Had to Google it. Now, since our team is doing well, I’m going to keep it going for luck. Maybe I will get some new Amish fans … but they don’t have TVs, right? Maybe they can come to games? Come to Winnipeg, guys.”
When asked about the beard Tuesday that it’s not going anywhere.
“I’m going to grow it until the last game of the season…hopefully that’s not for awhile,” Laine said.