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JF Jacques heading for minors

JF Jacques, coming off a back injury, is heading to the minors to continue work on coming back to...

JF Jacques, coming off a back injury, is heading to the minors to continue work on coming back to the NHL. (QMI AGENCY)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:12 PM ET

JF Jacques is joining French Canadian teammate Jeff Deslauriers in Oklahoma City, but he'll be reporting to the minors in an entirely different frame of mind.

For Deslauriers, the ticket to the AHL means he might not play an NHL game this season, but it represents a new beginning for the rugged Jacques, who can't wait to get back again after recovering from his second back surgery.

"Finally," said Jacques, who'll report to the Barons in time for their weekend homestand. "It's been a long time, but it's almost better that we took our time so that I can go full on and not think about it any more."

Jacques had to shut it down 49 games into last season with a back injury, and subsequent surgery, and has been turning up the intensity in training as he gets closer to a return date.

"I've been doing everything in the gym for a while. I've been doing a lot on the ice, testing things out at practice," he said. "While the guys were on the road I did a lot of skating with Steve Serdachny and had a couple of guys come in to do one-on-one battles, stuff like that.

"We did a couple of me pushing the guys around and then had (Zack Stortini) just throwing me everywhere to see how I would react. We know what to expect, we know it's not going to make things worse. But it's still just practice. I can't wait to get into a game and see how lost I am on the ice. Hopefully it's not too bad."

Two back surgeries in three years might give a player reason to tame down his act, but Jacques plans on sticking with what got him to the NHL in the first place, even if it means fighting.

"I have to," he said. "If I want to be effective here I have to fight once in a while. We'll see, I might want to get the first one out of the way sooner than later."

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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