David Jiricek is ready for the World Junior Hockey Championship in Halifax. The Czech defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect is missing just one thing: his gear.
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The sixth overall pick from the last draft joined his team in Halifax in preparation for tonight's game against Canada. He skated with his teammates, but still does not know if he will be able to take part in the match.
Jiricek took a flight from Cleveland, where he played for the Blue Jackets club club, with a transfer to Toronto.
The bad weather conditions that have plagued the United States and Canada in the last few days have caused the cancellation or delay of thousands of flights. Baggage was lost, including that of Jiricek, which was allegedly scanned in Toronto, but has since been misplaced.
Wrath of Walsh
It was enough for his agent, the voluble Allan Walsh, to tell his way of thinking about Air Canada.
“Air Canada customer service is a disaster. This company is outrageously embarrassing,” he railed via his Twitter account.
“David Jiricek flew from Cleveland to Halifax via Toronto. Several flights have been canceled and he finds himself in Halifax without equipment, without skates, without poles. They (Air Canada) do not know where the equipment is and when it will arrive in Halifax. (...) I was put on hold for two and a half hours and the line cut. And if Air Canada took its responsibilities, Michael Rousseau?”, he added, addressing the president and general manager of the airline.
A big season
When a netizen told Walsh that his client just had to go to a Halifax store to get equipment, the agent stated the obvious.
“David is six-foot-four and wears size 13 custom skates,” he said.
The Czech Hockey Federation has reported on the situation, mentioning that “the team will do its best so that he can play the opening match against Canada”.
This season, Jiricek played two games with the Blue Jackets before being traded to the Cleveland Monsters of the American League.
He is having an excellent campaign with them, as evidenced by his 20 points in 19 games.
Jiricek is one of the Czech Republic's hottest prospects. It will be his third participation in the World Juniors, he who was injured during the last edition.