International Ice Hockey Federation

Leader of the young guns

Leader of the young guns

Dano becoming a veteran for rejuvenated Slovaks

Published 29.04.2016 14:29 GMT+3 | Author Juraj Hudak
Leader of the young guns
Slovak forward Marko Dano battles for the puck with Belarus player Oleg Yevenko at last year’s World Championship. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images
Marko Dano is one of the big names on the Slovak national team currently preparing for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia.

New coach Zdeno Ciger has given chance to younger players and 21-year old forward of the Winnipeg Jetsshould be one of the leaders of the team.

You just came to the national team after a good season for your personally in the NHL. How do you feel?
I am excited to be here again. After few days off I was very happy that I could play hockey again. It's good that we finally gained a victory against France. I hope we'll get another one in our last preparation game against Denmark.

This is your first start under the new coach Zdeno Ciger, who played in the national team with your father Jozef Dano. Did he give you any advice?
Not at all. I went to see him in the Czech Republic, but we really didn't talk about that. On the other side, I am very excited about how it will work and I can't wait for this new experience with Mr Ciger.

Now he has given chance to many youngsters in the national team. As NHL player, are you ready to be a leader of this team?
Well, I have some experience from overseas, but I don't want to make unnecessary pressure. I will do my best to help the team as much as I can. I will go to each game with humbleness. We all are here on the same level, so we have to help each other as much as we can. I want to pass my experience to my teammates.

Last summer you were traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, defending champion of NHL. How did you feel?
My dream came true. I felt slightly bad about my position on the team. I didn't achieve what I wanted there, but still I am thankful for having this chance. Now I have to move up. The new chapter of my career is starting in Winnipeg and I want to concentrate on that.

What did they tell you in the club after the season?
They said that I have to be better in my agility. They want me to come to the camp in good form, which is also in my interest. I want to be a part of the NHL team from the start of the season, so I have to work on it. Now I want to concentrate on the World Championship in Russia.

You started the season on Chicago’s farm team, they called you up for a after couple of games and sent you back again. Then you got traded to Winnipeg. How do you feel after all these moves during the season.
I think I had good games on each team. Now I am more experienced, so from this side I am satisfied. I think everything has happened for some reason. Now I believe that I will feel like at home in Winnipeg and next season will be better.

Coach Zdeno Cíger set a new road for the national team where he gives the chance to young players. What can we expect from this kind of team at the World Championship?
I think it is a good thing that he is doing that. Especially for the younger guys. There just needs to be a good atmosphere and that could bring us miracles.

 

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