Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian shares his thoughts with Sabres.com about returning to Winnipeg after the team's recent game there.
WINNIPEG – I never got used to the negative temperatures in Winnipeg, but I was acclimated to not being in them. And then I got off the plane. It pinches the face and it wakes you right up.
What I most looked forward to about returning to Winnipeg was just seeing the guys from the Jets. I made a lot of memories here, and if you take hockey out of the equation, you get to know people and you get to know their families. It's a pretty special thing to be able to bond with people like that. It was nice to see the guys, the trainers – it was a tight-knit group so it was great to see everyone and say hi.
I went to dinner with a couple of Winnipeg guys at a place called Teo's on Corydon Ave. I went there quite a bit when I was playing here. It's almost like an Italian bistro type thing. They change their menu once in a while. You know, for being a small city, Winnipeg does have some nice restaurants to offer. I've eaten at pretty much every one of them.
Winnipeg has a small-town feel. Playing here, it seemed like, in a city that starved for hockey for so long and being so small, you get noticed everywhere you go and it's a pretty cool experience. I'm from a small town too, so it seemed pretty big to me, but it’s definitely a small, tight community where everyone kind of knows everyone and they're all connected in that way.
I feel like it's not too different from Buffalo in that way. It seems like when you meet someone from around town, they know someone you know. Being from New York and having some ties to Buffalo, I feel like when I'm talking to people, they seem to know a lot of people – whether it's my family or friends who have passed through there over the years.
One of the highlights of being back was the reaction that the crowd gave when I was on the ice. That was really cool, and things like that don’t go unnoticed. You put your blood, sweat and tears into the job and that's playing the game. I think that them cheering when my face came on the Jumbotron was a cool feeling because I gave it my all. I always will and I always have.