Slafkowski’s development: his father speaks intemperately

Juraj already feels the desire to return to the game.”

Less than 24 hours after learning he would be sidelined for the next three months with a knee injury, his father, Juraj Slafkowski, said he told him he was tired of the action. he would happily join in to help his teammates.

What was the father’s response?

“There is no need to rush under these circumstances.”

Very wise advice given CH’s recent and questionable medical report, but also considering that we can fully understand Canadians’ fervent desire for 20’s return.

After a long stretch in the wilderness that stretched from mid-December to mid-January, the youngster finally found his way back in the last five games he played before his injury. We felt he was more responsive in his actions, but also more involved in all aspects of the game.

Defensively, he blocked pucks, hit repeatedly and rebounded hard and right.

Photo credit: Martin Chevalier / JdeM

On the offensive side, we also saw him join his teammates with brilliant cuts, then capitalize on some good scoring opportunities. It didn’t materialize, but it felt like his 15-game pointless slump was coming to an end.

Slafkowski even had an NHL-high 16:03 of ice time on Jan. 12 against the Predators.

“I’d say since that game against the Blues, he’s really looked like an NHL player,” agrees Slafkowski. Although it did not produce, it looked very nice. Too bad for Zada ​​because we felt his performance curve was getting higher and higher.

Nothing too serious

We feel, and this is a certain disappointment in the words of the father, and this is quite normal.

Fortunately, he says, his son’s injury should not have long-term consequences.

“There is no need for any operation. He is young and he recovers quickly at this age. This is not a malfunction that will affect his progress.”

“Everyone can have their own opinion, but it’s not always true”

In the weeks leading up to Slafkowski’s injury news, one of the main topics of discussion/discussion in the Montreal sports world revolved around how CH was handling the development of an impact forward.

Some, if not most, said Laval in the American Hockey League made the most sense for him. Others thought the opposite.

Senior Yuraj Slafkovski answered the question about the topic quite clearly.

“CH’s management seems to have decided that Laval is not a good place for Juraj to grow. My son and I are sure that the Canadians know what they are doing. We trust them fully in this process. I read general manager Kent Hughes’ midseason review and agree with everything he said about Juraj.

Photo credit: QMI Photo Agency, Thierry Laforce

The amiable man, who was in high spirits on the matter, continued with a rather clear message to people everywhere talking about his son’s progress.

“The fans? Experts? There are many and everyone may have their own opinion, but it may not always be true. Some wish Curaca well, some hate him, but no one has the absolute truth. Sometimes reading people is pretty fun. Fortunately, I’m sure most Canadiens fans are sane…”

“The more the Jurac is used, the better it plays…”

The debate over how CH has developed Juraj Slafkowski this season has not only touched on the league he should be playing in, but also the amount of time he has been using it.

In December and January, the Slovak was used on average 13:09 per game.

When asked about this, the elder Slafkovski showed great transparency.

“Yes, sometimes we would like him to play more often in certain situations. I’m especially thinking of the first wave of a numerical advantage, or at the end of a match, for example. My take on this is that the more the Jurac is used, the better it plays. In general, he demonstrated this to me throughout his career.

“But ultimately coach Martin St-Louis makes the decision and Juraj has a lot of respect for him. We are thrilled that Juraj has the opportunity to play in the NHL at the age of 18. Remember, he’s the only player from the 2004 draft class to play regularly in this league.

“The best is yet to come”

For now, it is still unclear whether Juraj Slafkowski’s season is officially over.

If the initially announced three-month absence is indeed respected, we will only see the skater again next year. In any case, it is the most plausible and, above all, the most realistic scenario, especially considering CH’s current position in the standings.

When the young skater’s father was asked what he kept most from this first NHL experience at the family level, he offered an answer that would please many fans.

“The whole family will remember 2022 forever. Juraj’s medal at the Olympic Games with the national team, the draft in July, his first game in the NHL, the atmosphere at the Bell Centre, the great interest of the Canadiens fans… It was all just amazing. “But I still believe that the best is yet to come. I am sure that my son’s progress will continue adequately in the coming years.”

This is certainly the wish of CHP leaders… and its many supporters.

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