Martin Réway has stayed in Slovakia to recover from his illness. While he hasn’t put on any skates, he has been involved with the national team this week as an invited guest of head coach Zdeno Ciger. Ciger gave an interview to Slovak paper Dennik Sport where he spoke a bit about Réway and the special circumstances surrounding the Habs prospect.
The online branch of Novy Cas, CAS.sk, picked it up and published it for us all to see. There are some interesting quotes coming from the head coach of the Slovak national team.
He says Réway had been invited to the national team camp prior to the tournament between Slovakia, Belarus, France, and Switzerland not to participate, but “so he can be with us and knows we care about him, and also that he's around people."
Ciger shed some light on the health issues that will prevent Réway from playing for at least the entirety of the 2016-17 season.
“He's not very well. He's on strong medications, holding in a lot of water and can't move around very well,” Ciger explained. “He has to avoid physical effort.”
It’s a tough situation for the Montreal prospect that stole the show the last time the World Junior Hockey Championship was held in Montreal.
“He is glad we are talking to him and counting on him,” Ciger said. “This year is over for him, but he's not gonna forget how to play hockey. The question is whether he'll be fine again, because heart problems are a serious thing."
When asked if Slovakia’s young star was ever coming back to the ice, Ciger finished with: “I don't know. We'll see.”
To start Wednesday’s game between the national team and the Slovak Extraliga All-Stars, it was Réway that opened the game by dropping the puck for the ceremonial faceoff.
Before the exhibition match, Réway spoke with CAS.sk himself. The young Slovak confirmed that he doesn’t know if he can continue his active career, and explained what he is going through.
"I felt fine. I had been training heavy all summer, then I got a fever and they hospitalized me. I went from one hospital to another as they couldn’t diagnose me, and in the end I ended up in Piestany. They prescribed the treatment that I am still following."
“I am peaceful at home, but I don’t move around much. I talk to the doctors. There have been no further complications, so there was no need to go back to the hospital. There is no operation necessary."
The health problems came at a bad time: just a week prior to the opening of Canadiens training camp.
"While I do not know about the future, I shouldn’t really talk about it as I am under contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
"I feel sorry because it happened so late during summer. [The Canadiens] support me and we still keep in contact. I have lost a lot of kilos, but I am slowly getting some back. I want to recover fully and as fast as possible in order to continue my career."
This week is special as the national team is preparing for the winter internationals. Having a friendly game with the Tipsport League All-Stars, coach Ciger had contacted Réway and met up in Dolny Kubin.
"I was happy to come to Martin [the city] and to meet up and talk to guys personally, as I hadn’t been able to meet with them,” Réway said. “I have a good relationship with coach Ciger — we are in touch regularly — and he said, ‘I don’t want you to miss out on being part of the the national team community.’”
It remains to be seen what will happen with the talented young Slovak, but we all wish him nothing but the best in his recovery in what has been a terrible ordeal.