Washington Capitals’ defenseman Martin Fehérváry has met and dealt with his fare share of adversity en route to his steady gig in the NHL. But it’s all been worth it. Not only has he started for the Capitals since the beginning of the season, but he’s also become one of the team’s top defenders.
Last season was frustrating at times for the the 22-year-old Slovak defender. After making his NHL debut the previous season, many expected Fehervary would be a mainstay on the Capitals blueline for the 2020-21 season. Then the Capitals’ signed NHL veteran Zdeno Chara. Disappointed by the false start the previous season, Fehervary battled-on and finally made his way to the Capitals starting lineup.
“It’s great, I’m incredibly happy. My dream came true,” Fehervary told Sport.sk. “I believed it for a long time, even though I didn’t get a chance in a single game in the NHL last year. I worked on myself every day. It wasn’t the easiest mental thing, but I persevered.”
It looks like Fehervary is here to stay this time. He confirmed to Sport.sk that he and another Capitals’ rookie have already received their official letters from the league and notification from the team to check out of the team’s hotel and find housing.
“So far, there are two of us who have confirmed housing. Most of the guys are in a hotel and don’t have the same place.”
The Capitals have seen more than their share of injuries so far this season, but on the upside, it’s meant that the Capitals youth have been provided an opportunity to shine.
“We have a lot of injuries, but on the other hand, the young people deserve to play. As newcomers, we have shown that we can be part of the first team. We had a very good line-up last year on the farm in Hershey.”
Fehervary is also finally receiving NHL paychecks, but has yet to treat himself to any big purchases. Not even a new car…yet.
“Not at all, I didn’t buy anything special. Rather, I think ahead and invest money. Maybe I’ll treat myself after the season,” said Fehervary. “A car is not the best investment, we will see. Maybe I’ll lease something for a few months.”
Fehervary seems older and more wiser than his actual age. But that’s the result of facing more than his share of adversity on his way to the NHL.
“I have good people around me. I have not had an easy life. I had to grow up before my peers. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I started to take care of myself and I have.”
Fehervary also has good role models around him in the Capitals locker room. Tom Wilson, who has provided the primary assist on both of Fehervary’s goals so far this season, is one of those players.
“I guess I’m lucky with him. ‘Willy’ plays very well, everyone considers him a fighter and a tough player, but he can create, score goals. He’s the type you don’t want to play against, but he’s great in the room. He treats us young people well. ”
Fehervary also speaks highly of his team Captain, Alex Ovechkin.
“Ovi is a huge legend. I probably won’t realize until later, who I spent time with and played with. It’s amazing to watch his passion for hockey. He is very competitive. He likes to have fun.”
The Slovakian blockade knows that the competition in the East is stiff, but feels the Capitals are one of the contenders this season.
“I think we have one of the best teams in the NHL. In the Eastern Conference, we have a lot of competitors, led by Florida, Carolina and Tampa, but we are also favorites.”
Fehervary and the Capitals return to action Saturday night when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 PM.
By Jon Sorensen
Wonder which other player received their housing letter. Has to be Protas or McMichael.
I would lean towards McMichael. But you could make a case for both.
fehervary continues to make himself one of my favorite players
Fehervary has been excellent. They should have brought him up full time last season.
Fehervary has been tremendous this year, no doubt. I worry about his ability to stay healthy. He’s been on the receiving end of a lot of hard checks this year. The nasty business with Sid was one example, but there have been many instances of Fehervary getting obliterated in the corners.
Durability is certainly a concern for a young player who hasn’t yet played a full season in the NHL. We’ll just have to wait and see. I will say this, Martin is in tremendous shape and aware the season is a marathon, already talking about rest and regeneration between games. If anyone can endure, I think he can.