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Detroit — Tomas Jurco is one of those young Red Wings players who has paid his dues.

Those dues are the drives up I-96 between Detroit and Grand Rapids when Jurco was a young player on the brink of the NHL. He would be called up on occasion when needed because of an injury to a veteran on the Red Wings.

Gustav Nyquist made a lot of the trips. Petr Mrazek has made his share of journeys east to west and back. Xavier Ouellet has done several recently.

A young player such as Jurco gets to know the two-hour drive pretty well.

Question: You made the drive a few times, obviously. It can be a pretty boring drive on stretches of 96, can't it?

Answer: I haven't done it in a long time, but it was kind of, after a while. You just drive. But I haven't had to do it in a while and I hope I don't have to do it again.

Q. Do you get to know where the good restaurants are along the way, or know where to stop for a good cup of coffee?

A. It's not (necessarily) between (Detroit and Grand Rapids) but there was an Italian restaurant, as you're entering Grand Rapids, it was right off 28th Street. Geez, what was the name of it. (Long pause). I totally forgot the name of it. I haven't been there in a long time.

Q. What type of music do you listen to? Is it American or Slovakian?

A. American music. It's not rap. It's more, I kind of like the club music. But it's a little weird style. A bunch of remixes. A kind of chill music. Not crazy stuff.

Q. You're another guy on this team who loves going to the movies. Is it any different going to a movie here than in Europe?

A. It's about the same, but there are the subtitles back home. And when you're watching movies on the television back home, you have the dubbing.

At first when I was growing up I never thought much about it. I just thought it was normal, they all sounded Slovakian. Then I came here and realized what was going on, and I went back home, I noticed it was different. It was weird. You notice the mouths open and close ... it's just a little off.

tkulfan@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tkulfan

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