Petr Čajánek back in Zlin as captain
Čajánek playing with Zlin in the lockout year.
Zlin-native Petr Čajánek can’t quite be called a “journeyman.” Though, he’s done time in the Extraliga, where he got his humble start, has played for the St Louis Blue and their AHL affiliate, has done time in the KHL with Ak Bars and most recently SKA, but he’s been quite productive at each and every level. He’s found his way at center as a playmaker first and scorer second.
And this year, he will be PSG Zlin’s newest captain. Today is also his 36th birthday, so while he’s not getting any younger, he brings experience and wisdom to a Zlin team that got swept by Pardubice in last year’s playoffs. Already it seems a sensible signing for the team.
According to his Besk interview, he’s just starting to get his feel for the Extraliga again and where each team stands after his long absence. He thinks Zlin has a lot of great players who are tough to knock off the puck and are ready to step up, but he’s reluctant to make any prognostications. He joked that he’ll have to be calmer, tamer, in his new role as captain, and he’ll be doing a lot more talking. He racked up some serious penalty minutes in the KHL and while playing for Zlin in the 1990s. Just as the Bruins are probably pondering who will receive the “A” with Mark Recchi gone, so too will they wonder if sometimes-fighter and talker Milan Lucic is ready for that. Čajánek’s experience and hometown-boy attributes clearly trumped any bad-boy persona.
Three days ago Zlin beat Trencin in a RONA Cup match, playing a solid game. Hopefully, their new captain can advance the trend.