Meeting with Hejda: Photos and interviewA recap of the Eurolanche meeting with Jan Hejda in Czech Republic.
Eurolanche Fan Club met with the Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda again. Hejda visited a summer meeting with Eurolanche for the second straight year. Last year, even Milan Hejduk took a part in, but this year he hadn´t a free time to come. Jan´s presence definitely confirmed that he is a hockey player who has a great relationship with Eurolanche. Overall, amongst all Slovak and Czech players who played for the Avs over the last seasons, Jan has become the best friend of the fan club. Except two summer meetings, Hejda met with Eurolanche members also in Denver for two times during the last two Eurolanche Invasions and he has been always willing to give us interview every month in the season. We hope we will continue in that in 2013/14 as well.
This summer, three members from Slovakia and two from Czech Republic visited a two-hour meeting with Hejda in Prague. Hejda´s hockey agent from the USA (in the red t-shirt at the photo) had been there too as he is on the vacation in Czech Republic. Thanks to his participation we heard some details of the business background in the NHL as for example was the process how Jan became the Avalanche player two years ago. We talked with Jan about many topics: he explained us team´s failure in the last season, talked more about two “conflicts” – Jean-Sebastien Giguere´s speech and the relationship between Matt Duchene and Ryan O´Reilly, some personal matters, about the World Championship 2013, plans for the next season and more.
We decided to not use the voice recorder to get relaxed and informal atmosphere. Fans who had traveled for hours for the meeting had an unique chance to hear interesting facts directly from the NHL player. Those fans who lived in Central Europe should regret they didn´t come. The atmosphere was really perfect and natural. We will use a off the record method in the future at the meetings with other Colorado Avalanche players too. Finally, not only the photos but also all recorded Jan´s answers follow.
What do you think about the new coach Patrick Roy?
I believe it will be a change to the right direction. I had no chance to meet him in the summer. What I heard he doesn´t like to loss, he hates loosing. He has a big will to win and he can say it and show it. I hope it will work with the players and it will be adapted on us.
How do you see your future on the team?
It depends on the season. Of course, everybody could go away; also I could be bought out. Thanks God it has not happened. If you play according to your contract and expectations, it is going to be good. I will try to play this way.
Will you miss Greg Zanon – your partner from the warm-ups?
He was a good man. They signed him before the season, he played around 40 games. It was a surprise for me that they bought out him. I thought it was going to be somebody else.
Probably, you will miss Hejduk most…
Of course. No other Czech on the team left. I hoped little bid that somebody would come… But nobody for now, unfortunately. I will maybe follow Varlamov now (laughing).
How many interviews do you give per season?
They didn´t do them often, but it changes now. Probably every third, fourth game.
Did you get a question that makes you angry?
Not so. It is hard to answer on some questions; a man does not want to talk about them. I rather don´t like what journalists write sometimes (laughing). Mostly, it doesn´t relate with my quotes.
Have you ever regret that you became a hockey player?
What are disadvantages of being a hockey player?
I travel six months in a year, the family is mostly alone at home. And the next six months you won´t get a payment (laughing).
What places do you visit often in Denver?
We lived in a remote are in Denver, so we go somewhere close to there. Park Meadows, there are good restaurants. Something around in the neighborhood, so I do not have to travel a lot. There isn´t much time left for me and my wife. My daughter had four trainings with a horse in a week and my son four ice hockey trainings in a week. It is eight trainings in one week. Sometimes I felt like a taxi driver.
What is your prediction for the upcoming season?
I don´t think it is going to be so clear that we would have a great time from the start as the new head coach came. We will need a little time. We should have good results according to changes on the roster and overall expectations. The most important would be clinched the playoffs spot. Then it is about who will get on the winning wave. We shouldn´t miss the playoffs.
Do you still like playing with Barrie?
Yes, I was satisfied with him. It is going to be interesting how coach will create lines combinations.
At the very end, I thank to Jan Hejda for his time and for everything what he has done for the Eurolanche. Big thank goes to his agent who told us very interesting information.
David Puchovsky, Slovakia, email@example.com
12/08/2013 - 17:00