As we noted in an earlier piece last week, there were strict rules for Jonas Siegenthaler after returning to Washington from Zurich last week. He was required to quarantine for seven days and may only start training after four negative tests for the coronavirus. The 23-year-old defender of the Washington Capitals has taken it all in stride. In an interview with Keystone-SDA News agency, Siegenthaler spoke about the return to play, preparing for the playoffs and a new contract with the Capitals.
After the interruption of the season on March 12, Siegenthaler initially stayed in the States. “Nobody knew how the situation would develop, so I waited first.” In mid-April, however, he returned to Switzerland.
He received a training plan from the Capitals, although he completed his own program, which has proven itself in the past. With a weight of 99 kg (218 lbs) and a height of 1.89 m (6’2”), Siegenthaler’s focus is no longer on building body mass, but on explosiveness and mobility.
However, he is “not yet completely satisfied with the strength in his upper body, I have to get a little stronger there.”
During his time at home in Zurich, Siegenthaler trained on ice, as he was allowed to join the EVZ Swiss team’s workouts over the past month.
Now he feels ready if the games actually resume on July 30th. Siegenthaler hopes for this, especially since the prospects for Washington are good. Only two teams were better in the canceled regular season and the capitals are directly in the playoff round of 16.
Siegenthaler has also had a successful season so far, having made a breakthrough. He played in 64 of 69 games, received an average of 15:44 minutes of ice time and scored his first two goals in the NHL.
“As a young player, you need two or three seasons to prove yourself,” said Siegenthaler in the interview with the Keystone-SDA news agency. “Up to the Allstar break (end of January) it went very well. After that I fell into a small hole, I felt a bit tired physically and in the head.” His next goal is to regularly be among the top 4 defenders.
Siegenthaler admits that in the weight room in the past he was not always very serious. However, he realized that simply training in the best league in the world is not enough in the summer. Siegenthaler corrected his attitude.
“I said to myself, ‘If you really want to, pull yourself together.’ Ultimately, you don’t want to go back to the AHL once you’ve played in the NHL.” He also didn’t really like it in Hershey, where the farm team is based. “There was nothing there. I also wanted to show it to all those who didn’t believe in me. That motivated me even more.”
Siegenthaler came to ice hockey thanks to his older half-brother. Until 13, the NHL was far away for him, then he was allowed to play in a tournament in Québec, where the best league in the world was omnipresent. When he was 14 at the ZSC Lions and the GCK Lions in the U20 category, he noticed that a career as a professional was realistic.
In 2015 he was drafted by the Capitals at number 58. After initial difficulties, he now feels comfortable in North America. “In the beginning it was not easy without family and friends,” said Siegenthaler. “Now I have resigned myself to seeing them only in summer.”
His current contract with Washington is now expiring. However, he is not worried about this, as those responsible have signaled to him that they want to keep him. “That gives me a certain security, I have no stress,” explains Siegenthaler. After all, it is difficult for the teams to plan given the current situation. It is still unclear how high the salary cap will be.
Siegenthaler wants to focus on the moment anyway. He would have been part of the team in the Capitals’ only Stanley Cup triumph two years ago. However, because he would hardly have been used, he preferred to participate in the World Cup with Switzerland.
Although he was allowed to travel to Denmark, he was not registered for the tournament and had to go home after Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala joined the team. The Swiss won silver at the time, so he was also denied this success. Now he wants to make up for what he missed. (SDA)
By Jon Sorensen
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#ALLCAPS @siegenthaler34 returns to Washington. “I’m ready,” says Jonas Siegenthaler shortly before departure. “I have to be in quarantine for seven days. I’ll use the time as a break. I am tested four times during this time. If all tests are negative, I can go to training.” (📷 @blickeishockey) #Capitals #Siegenthaler #JonasSiegenthlaer