The Montreal Canadiens welcome a familiar face back to town on Monday as they prepare for their game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Viewers in the Canadiens region can watc the game on TSN Canadiens at 7:30pm et/8:30pm at.
Jaroslav Spacek, who spent more than two years in the red, white and blue of the Habs, makes his first visit to the Bell Centre since he was dealt to Carolina for Tomas Kaberle in December.
The local media was eager to hear from Spacek, since he publicly criticized the team in a Jan. 20 radio interview in Washington.
"I'm pretty happy to be gone from there, from the whole circus," he said at the time. In the same interview he criticized the outcry over hiring an Anglophone coach.
When asked about his remarks on Sunday, the 38-year-old native of the Czech Republic showed support for head coach Randy Cunneyworth.
"I like Cunney [as] a coach," said Spacek. "Lots of respect for him and it's a little sad, maybe, that he'll maybe lose his job".
The team has gone 10-12-2 since Cunneyowrth was named interim head coach on December 17, but has caught fire of late, riding a four-game win streak heading into Monday's tilt.
Spacek reiterated his belief that the team could perform under an English-speaking bench boss.
"Hire an interpreter," he said. "You can have a good coach and it doesn't have to be a French-speaking coach. But I know the community here is more French-speaking and I respect that, too."
Spacek praised the fans' enthusiasm, but reiterated his stance that the team was in disarray when he was dealt.
"This city is always special to play in," Spacek said. "If the hockey doesn't go well, it's a mess, as I said."
Spacek has scored one goal and three assists in 15 games since heading to Raleigh. Kaberle, meanwhile has scored one goal and added 12 assists in 21 games with the Canadiens.