Monday, January 13, 2014

Not sure if feeling is mutual, but Tvrdon doesn't hate Don Hay

Tvrdon working out on bike in Calgary
"I was surprised".
Those words from Marek Tvrdon on being traded to the Kelowna Rockets last Wednesday.
"I am pretty excited to be here. It is a good team here in Kelowna and I am going to help them", Tvrdon said in my first interview with him Friday in the bowls of the Medicine Hat Arena.
The 20 year-old was playing in the East Coast Hockey League with Toledo this season when he learned that he was coming back to the WHL.
"I got a call that it is best to go back to junior because the coach in Toledo doesn't like me and won't play me."
Tvrdon broke into the WHL as a member of the Vancouver Giants, who traded the Slovakian's rights to the Rockets for a second round bantam pick. Tvrdon's best season with the Giants was in 2011-2012 when he scored 31 goals playing on a line with now Montreal Canadiens agitator Brendan Gallagher.
"It was pretty good to play with Gallagher. He is a hard worker. He is not scared to go to the net. I knew he would make it (NHL)."
I asked Tvrdon if he can regain the form he showed that season when he finished up second (31+43=74) in Giants team scoring.
"I am going to score more goals than 31", the confident forward with a sharp accent said with a chuckle.
Tvrdon has a good attitude coming back to junior and knows what he needs to work on.
"I try my best and help the team by scoring goals. I can skate all night long.  Hard work, that is what I need to learn and learn defensive play."
It has been well documented that Giants head coach Don Hay didn't like Tvrdon for his indifferent play, but he doesn't hold any animosity toward the veteran coach.
"I like Don. He is a hard coach but if I am not in Vancouver in my draft year, and I only played 12 games and I still get draft, so he helped me out with that".
If Tvrdon can regain the form he showed in his rookie season in the WHL, Kelowna Rockets fans are in for a treat.
"I like to score goals".
The Detroit Red Wings 4th round draft pick can prove it Friday when he makes his Kelowna Rockets debut on the road against the Victoria Royals.

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