Awards season has been kind to the Hurricanes. After Rod Brind’Amour won the Jack Adams on Thursday, Jaccob Slavin took home Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Saturday night.
Slavin spoke to the media about winning the award, here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On the way he plays the game without taking penalties: I think the way I like to go about the game is try to stay out of the box. I definitely don’t like taking penalties. But I’m not that physical of a guy. I like to use my stick a lot. So in doing that, I have to make sure that my positioning on the ice is solid and making sure I’m setting myself up for success using skating abilities and trying to make sure that my angles are good. So in doing that, it’s a combination of skating and stick work, not playing too physical.
On Ron Francis presenting him with the award: It is huge. It was an honor. When I found out that he was presenting the award, it was super special. He’s the one that brought me into this league. Knowing the player that he was and he himself winning this award, it’s super special. But he had a big part in me coming into the league and just giving me the opportunity that I had my rookie year and instilling some confidence in me, just giving me that opportunity. So to be presented the award by him was truly special.
On being the fourth defenseman to win the award and getting the honor after a tough year: It’s special. I don’t know why there’s only been four defensemen, but I’m obviously honored to be able to be awarded this award. So it’s definitely special. But after the year through COVID and everything, it puts a little more into perspective just how much more there is to hockey. Like I said earlier in the interview, this award’s super special, just because I know it wasn’t me that won this award, it was just Christ living through me. And just being able to share the love of Christ to the world, through hockey on and off the ice, that’s why I’ve been given this platform, and being able to share the love to everybody, so it is something that is special to me.
On the award being about the kind of person he is: It has everything to do with the person God’s created me to be and how I conduct myself. I want to live a life that glorifies him. So in doing that, whether it’s on or off the ice, just making sure, kind of like the golden rule, treat everybody how you want to be treated. So going about my life in that way, and in a way that everything that I do, I want to glorify him in. So the on-ice play and not taking penalties is definitely part of it, but more so the gentlemanly conduct and just loving people well.
On who has influenced him: I think a lot of it has to go back to my Dad. He’s been such a role model in my life, on and off the ice, as a player, he always just told me to work hard, stay humble and leave the rest to God, and so that’s how I try to go about every day in the rink and my life, just doing everything that I can control. There were some times, I think, even when I was growing up, the moment that he stopped coaching me was the moment I told him to shut up on the bench, so even just his role in how he conducted himself and the way he taught me to play the game, making sure that I wasn’t out there cheating or anything.
He’s been such a huge impact on my life. As I’ve grown up a little bit, my wife’s been such a huge support in my life on and off the ice, making sure home life is home life and not bringing things of hockey back to the house. I think if it was up to her, I’d honestly be more aggressive on the ice and try to hit people a little bit more, but she’s been such a huge support system to me. So I’m thankful to her, to my family, to everybody who’s contributed. Coaching staffs, players, past and present, everyone has definitely played a step along the way and so I’m super thankful for all of them.
On Rod Brind’Amour winning the Jack Adams and bringing recognition to the Canes: It’s huge. Like you said, we definitely wish we were still playing and still competing for the cup, but we’ve been trending in the right direction for the past couple years. Obviously Roddy is so deserving of the award that he got this year, and the coach that he is is awesome, but he’s just that much better of a person. It’s huge to have him leading our group all the way, but it is nice for the Canes to have some recognition of the hard work that’s been put in by management, ownership and from top to bottom, coaching staff to training staff, and obviously the players have been a huge part of it as well. It is nice to have some of that recognition, but we as a Canes organization know that we have a lot more to give, and we obviously want to achieve that ultimate goal of lifting the Stanley Cup one day, and we don’t want to stop until we get there.