With 78 games under his belt this season for the Winnipeg Jets, Jim Slater is a force to be reckoned with. The fierce 29-year-old from Flint, Michigan has not only charm and charisma, but is a key factor to the Jets success this year. 13 goals, and 8 assists, this 2002 first-round pick better be signed, sealed, and delivered back here come September.
After coming back from a wicked concussion injury that took him out of the game for almost a year in Atlanta, Slater is nominated by the NHL for the Bill Masterson Trophy. Humbled by the nomination of this prestigious and significant award, he says. “It felt good, though nobody wants to have a bad injury like that, I came in here with a goal to stay healthy all year, and I accomplished that.” Slater’s good intentions have been seen dynamically through his huge community involvement within Winnipeg. He says the Masterson trophy “is not just about perseverance, but of both sportsmanship and giving back to your community through community service, which I have always been a part of through my years in the NHL.”
Although the GST line forward doesn’t believe he will win the trophy when announced in June, we feel he is a perfect candidate for this award due to his endless dedication, and immense respect for his community and his team. Slater took home the Staffmax Staffing & Recruiting Community Service Award April 7th, for his distinguished efforts to helping different organizations within the community. Donating much of his time to different charities, he gives his aid to organizations such as Community Living Manitoba and by visiting the Children’s Hospital.
This Winnipeg favorite is soon to be headed to Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm Sweden for the IIHF Men’s World Championship for the third time. At 6 feet and 200lbs, this hot forward will be a major contributor to the U.S. Men’s National Team come May.
Though the Jets did not make the playoffs this year, his biggest disappointment about the season was “knowing that we had a good opportunity to go a long way; knowing that we were better than some of the teams that made it to [the] playoffs.” When asked who might take down the Cup, Pittsburgh Penguins got his vote.
As for discussing upcoming plans for the summer, Slater admits that he doesn’t like to stay in one place for too long. “I’m going to San Diego for about 2 months to relax and do some unconventional training; then give myself a 2-week vacation. I get back to Michigan July 1st, go to Michigan State, and about 20 of us Pros get together and skate, practice, workout and golf.” Not to mention playing Racquet ball, which is one of Slater’s favorite things to do. In Michigan, he will be spending some QT with his family. “It’s a great time to be with them.”
Something most people don’t know about this hard-hitting forward is that he likes to play piano and is learning Beethoven as we speak. A little sensitive for this tough guy maybe, but he would rather spend his money going to space than on material things he says. For his bucket list, he has yet to achieve a ‘hole-in-one’ in golf, and at the top is sky-diving. His favorite thing about the ‘GST line’ are the Chants the Jets Fans make up. “Awww I love it!” he says grinning. And FYI – his favorite song for warm-ups is ‘Best of Me’ by the Foo Fighters.
As the transition seemed to be an easy one for Slater, he took to the ambience of Winnipeg more than anything else. His favorite thing about this city he exclaims is “The whole sense of community and the individuals that live here, and the fact that they take pride in their city.” As for possibly relocating here…after travelling and taking a break, this unrestricted free agent says “Anything is possible, it just has to be the right fit professionally, and I think it definitely could be.”
Undoubtedly, Jim Slater is a part of something bigger here. Not only is he one of the most respectable Jets players, but his large presence within the Winnipeg Jets organization cannot be overlooked. Slater is a success story in itself; we need more players like him-giving back.
The Jets fans have high hopes that Slater will return next season to help get the Jets to their playoff destination. And I think he will do just that – True North get out your Cheque Book!