On Friday afternoon, four of the Pacific Division captains (Connor McDavid, Mark Giordano, Bo Horvat, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson) sat down for a conference call about everything from the state of the league, to playoffs, to what they’re doing at home in quarantine and I wanted to put together a quick recap on some of the topics they covered.
McDavid on staying in Edmonton
Since NHL players were permitted to return home, I had just assumed that Connor would head back to Ontario, but the captain decided that it was for the best to stick around Edmonton and gave a really smart reason as to why.
“I thought it was probably the best choice to do that. I didn’t want to travel through the airport and maybe bring it back home to my family. I have parents, grandparents and all that, so I thought it would be safest just to stay put for the time being. I built a new place here, so there’s lots of time to break in the new place.”
Wait a minute, how did we not know that Connor McDavid built a fresh new house in Edmonton? HOW DID WE NOT KNOW THIS?! I bet his place is a glorious palace fit for the king that he is, guarding over our fair city with a watchful eye. I don’t know why, but knowing that Connor is in town in his fresh new house makes me feel happier. Wait a minute… Is this new house where you’ve been doing squat challenges with your adorable dog, Lenny?
“I actually did put in a gym. Nealer was giving me a hard time saying: ‘What’s the point of having one in your house when you have the rink right there?’ Luckily I did and I have the option to work out there.”
I don’t know why I found it funny that Connor McDavid has a gym in his house, but after thinking about it for a little bit, I realized that it’s because I’m completely useless in terms of getting in shape and not an elite athlete at the top of his game. This is a guy that WANTS to workout and keeping working on his game to ensure that he’s at his best rather than going through the motions just to be able to eat a whole pizza if he wants.
On the state of the season
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a few different proposals on what the rest of the 2019-20 season + playoffs might look like if the league is able to safely get going again so I was interested in hearing what these guys thought about it. When asked about the season being put on pause, McDavid voiced his frustration while also understanding the importance of the decision.
“It’s very frustrating but there’s lots more important stuff going on. The health and safety of everyone is what’s important now. Hockey can go on hold for a little bit, but it’s disappointing when the team is having a good year and in the playoff hunt with a lot of good stuff going on. But again, it’s important that everyone does what they have to do and takes care of each other so we can get this thing over with so we can get back to playing hockey.”
Sticking within Alberta, Flames captain, Mark Giordano, gave his thoughts on what to expect from the NHL playoffs whenever the league is safely able to get back underway.
“As far as the break goes, if we can ever get back to playing, I think this will be one of the best playoffs ever because every team is going to have all their guys healthy and ready to go. You’re truly going to be playing the best version of every team, so I’m looking forward to getting through this as a community and a group of NHLers and then we’ll be in for some good hockey if we can ever get past this and into playoffs.”
If the playoffs were able to get going today, we’d have a Battle of Alberta on the schedule for what would surely be one of the most anticipated playoff matchups in years. When asked about the idea, McDavid knew exactly how excited everyone would be about the matchup.
“This year, (the BOAs) been pretty wild. If we get back playing here and maybe even see them in the playoffs, so that’d be pretty fun.”
But what would happen if they had to cut the current season short and just get right to it?
“We need to have a fair season and a fair season is a full season. If we can do that then that’s what we’d obviously prefer, but I don’t think we can just step into playoffs and game one with Calgary coming to Edmonton and guys just running around killing each other without having played a game in two months.”
I mean, that would be kinda fun, though, no?
“I think it’ll end up the Stockton Heat against the Bakersfield Condors if that’s the case, so we want to keep guys healthy and make sure everyone’s up and ready to play some playoff hockey. If we can get back to playing, it could be some of the best playoffs you’ve ever seen where everyone’s healthy and rested — it could be really exciting hockey.”
Personally, I think that the playoffs would be absolutely bananas for fans and players alike if they’re actually able to happen, and I’ll be holding out hope that we get the chance to see it until the moment comes when the league finally has to pull the plug. I don’t even care if they’re played to empty buildings, the TV ratings would be unlike anything the league has ever seen before and I believe people would be just as excited to watch sports from their couch at home as they would from inside the building. Now, with that said, I did watch a couple of soccer games with an empty stadium and it was admittedly eerie, so having playoff games that matter this much with no one there to cheer would be incredibly odd, but I would still be down to watch it anyway.
On Quarantine Life
Changing gears to a lighter conversation, the guys were asked which teammate they would choose to get quarantined with and Connor McDavid chose a longtime friend.
“I’d probably go with Nursey. He’s a guy that I’ve lived with before and I’ve known him a long time as well, so he’s a guy I’m real comfortable with and know the ins and outs of his life. He knows the same about mine.
It makes sense to want to pick a quarantine partner that you’re familiar with, right? What about the other side? What about the teammate that McDavid would not want to get locked down with?
“I’ll probably have to go with Kass. He’s just got too much energy. He’s go, go, go constantly, so that’s not what you’re looking for when you’re trapped in a house all day. Obviously I love Kass, but there’s just a little bit too much energy for a quarantine.”
THE FULL VIDEO
At just over 36 minutes in length, there was a lot in this conference call that I didn’t get to in my recap so if you’re looking for a way to kill half an hour then this video is definitely worth the time. I found it interesting to sit and listen to these four guys have a conversation and bust each other’s balls a little bit, and it was nice to see some personality come through in this unconventional format.