Martin Fehervary with fellow Bratislavan hockey player and NHL legend Peter Stastny / Photo: Martin Fehervary
Following the conclusion of the Washington Capitals 2021-22 season on May 13, rookie defenseman Martin Fehérváry quickly made his way to Finland to join his fellow countrymen and Team Slovakia for the 2022 IIHF World Championship. But since the conclusion of play in Finland, Fehervary has finally found time to relax a little with his friends, take a vacation and spend some time fishing, his favorite sport off the ice.
However, the the 22-year-old defender now feels well rested and has already begun his preparations for the 2022-23 season, holding his first official workout earlier this week.
“Yes. I rest gradually all summer. I’m glad I’m finally home, Fehervary told Sport.sk. “The season was long. I was on vacation with friends, then I went fishing. I’m starting to move a little. I had my first official training.”
You might think that the Bratislava native would need more time to rest his body, as he led all Capitals in hits (251) for the 2021-22 season. But Martin feels he’s rested enough, and it’s time to get back to work.
“I don’t feel well if I miss the ice for a long time,” said Fehervary. “I try to prepare well from the physical point of view, to wrap myself in muscle mass so that it hurts less. I keep my weight, I don’t plan to gain weight, even though it may change gradually. I feel so good right now.”
Fehervary said he is looking to continue improving his offensive game in the coming season. He recorded eight goals and nine assists in 79 regular season games last season.
“Even in the first full season of the NHL, I allowed myself more progress. I was more confident playing the puck and I want to go in that direction next season as well. Getting into more offensive opportunities and creating chances.”
With 85 career NHL games under his belt, Fehervary feels he’s earned the respect of opposing players in the NHL.
“I have respect, but I’m not the type of player who wants to kill someone with a hit. I play hard, but I don’t think I’m a dirty hockey player who fouls a lot. I try to play hockey so that my opponents don’t like to play against me.”
The 2022-23 season will be a contract year for the 22-year-old (restricted free agent), who is likely to see a significant pay increase next year. But that won’t be a distraction for Fehervary.
“I don’t take it that way, it’s still just hockey. I want to be the best and improve, but I don’t feel like I’m fighting for a contract. I know that if I go about things gradually, everything will come back to me. I am not solving the fact that I will be negotiating a new contract.”
Fehervary is a relatively private person, and admits he doesn’t like to share a lot of his life on social media, but he tries to keep things in perspective with his new fame in Slovakia.
“I like my privacy, I don’t put everything I do on social networks, where I am and with whom. Although in Bratislava it is challenging. However, people want to take a picture with me, or ask for a signature when I’m on a trip somewhere in Slovakia. I always try to be friendly.”
Fehervary did share a photo of himself and fellow Bratislava resident and NHL legend Peter Stastny on Sunday. Stastny was the NHL’s second-highest scorer of the 1980s, after Wayne Gretzky. He spent most of his career playing for the Quebec Nordiques.
The NHL announced this week that the 2022-23 season will begin on October 11. Teams should be opening training camps three weeks prior, in late September. But for Martin Fehervary, the work for next season has already begun.
By Jon Sorensen