Hejda returns to the national teamThe Czech defenseman will suit up for the World Championship.
Jan Hejda will represent the Czech Republic at the upcoming World Championship in his home country. The Colorado Avalanche defenseman has already arrived in Prague and joined his fellow teammates in the pre-tournament preparations. His decision ended a sad chapter of his career. The last time he played at the World Championship was two years ago and he missed the Olympics because of a dispute with former Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik.
Hejda’s return to the national team became obvious after Vladimir Ruzicka, whom Hejda knows all too well, became the new head coach. “He didn’t really give me an option. He just told me that I’d be going and that’s that. When I played in Prague at the World Championship 11 years ago, the atmosphere was fantastic, I didn’t experience something like that before. You couldn’t hear a word on the ice from the opening faceoff right until the final buzzer. You can’t erase a memory like that,” said Hejda in an interview for the Czech media.
Ruzicka contacted Hejda a month before the end of the regular season, but the defenseman couldn’t tell him anything certain. The Avalanche were still in the hunt for a playoff berth and he himself had minor health problems. “The final checkup showed a minor shoulder problem, but it’s more likely just based on my age, surgery isn’t necessary,” said Hejda, who’s the most experienced blue-liner on the current Czech roster. “I don’t really think we’re better player than the guys from Russia. I don’t feel like I should be putting myself over someone. The guys also have an advantage, because they already play on bigger ice. It’s possible that I’ll be the one learning from them,” finished Hejda, whose contract runs out on July 1st and the possibility of him re-signing with the Avalanche is uncertain.
The list of Avalanche players, who’ll be playing at the tournament held in Prague and Ostrava, right now features Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie for Team Canada. Reto Berra will suit up for the Swiss, while Zach Redmond play for Team USA. Minor-leaguer Markus Lauridsen will play for Denmark.
Eurolanche.com will cover the World Championship like every year and will keep you up-to-date with the latest news.
Michal Hezely, Slovakia, email@example.com
22/04/2015 - 18:00