Earlier this week, @Edmonton Oilers forward, Leon Draisaitl, jumped on a quick conference call with league reporters to talk a little bit about what he’s been up to during the NHL shutdown, who he’d quarantine with if given the chance, and how he’s keeping himself busy with all of this downtime.
Like a lot of us, Draisaitl is spending much of his sportless reality watching A LOT of Netflix as a means of filling the time and he was asked which shows have piqued his interest:
“One show that I’ve been watching a lot of is ‘This Is Us.’ God, I got a lot of time to watch movies and shows right now, so I feel like I’ve watched pretty much everything.”
What about hockey? Are you watching any of the replay games on Sportsnet at all?
“I’ve watched a few of them sitting on the couch. I watched Game 5 against San Jose from a couple of years ago, and it’s a little bit of a tease I’d say.”
I’ll be honest with you, Leon, when I watched that game I got a little bit bummed out that we won’t be able to create new moments and memories like those this April, ya know?
“You start to miss (hockey) even more, so sometimes it’s better watching ‘Friends’ than hockey.”
Since you brought up friends I’m going to take this time to revoice my opinion that Ross is the best character on that show. What about when you’re not watching TV or movies? What’s been filling your time?
“Puzzles. Lots of puzzles. Just trying to do whatever we can at home to stay entertained.”
I’ve thought about doing puzzles too, but I was so bad at them as a kid that I almost don’t know if it would be worth my time to try and start one, or if I’d get so annoyed that I’d end up throwing pieces around my house out of frustration. The struggle is real, ya know?
What about your fitness? Are you able to keep it tight like the hockey warlord you are, or is the quarantine diet adding a few pounds to the waistline?
“We’re obviously a little bit limited, but I have a gym in my house here in Edmonton. I try to do something different every day to try and stay fit and stay in shape. I go for runs, do stairs, all kinds of different stuff.”
I guess we’re at a point where we all have to get creative if we want to stay anywhere close to being in shape. What about your hands? Those babies are your moneymakers and we need to make sure that the skills are still dialled in, right?
“I try to dangle around my dog once in a while with my stick. I have a stick in my basement. Other than that, there’s not much opportunity to work on my skills or anything like that.”
It has to be frustrating to think that you were on pace to blow out your career-high in points only to have that rhythm halted by something out of your control, right? What goes through your mind when you think of the personal success you were having and how yet another stellar season was basically robbed from you.
“Obviously we don’t know yet what’s going to happen, so there’s still some talking left to do in all the professional leagues. I think that goes for everyone playing the game. If we don’t get to play the playoffs, obviously it’s frustrating. But again, like we’ve all said, I think the health of people, at this time, is more important.”
I love the way that Draisaitl is never willing to pump his own tires and that, to me, is the sign of a true leader and one of a total team guy. Even when he was asked about the league shutting down as a whole, Draisaitl was, once again, looking at the bigger picture.
“I think (the league) made the right decisions so far and, I think I’m speaking for everyone, hopefully, we can return to playing again. But obviously that’s not necessarily up to us.”
Certainly, this situation has to be frustrating as a player while you sit and wait to find out what happens, right? Like the rest of us, you’re basically stuck in a “hurry up and wait” type of scenario.
“It’s not ideal right now. It’s not an ideal situation for any of the players. But I think once a decision is made and there’s some clarity, and if it is hopefully going back to playing, then it’ll be very exciting and everyone will be fired up to play again.”
Once again, you’re a wiser man than I am, Leon. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that miss watching you play?
“I think we all miss it. That’s the hard part. We’re all sitting here patiently waiting to start playing again. Stay positive. Stick with it just like we are. Obviously, like I said before, we all want to get back to playing as soon as possible. But right now, there are more important things going on in the world going on and we have to accept that. Hopefully, we can all get back to playing soon and bring this into the playoffs.”
Changing gears back to a lighter note, we all need to know which of your teammates would be the best quarantine buddy if you had to choose. A few days ago, Connor McDavid said he’d pick Darnell Nurse, so now we need a name for who you’d be locking down with.
“That’s a tough one. I think one guy that would be really funny to be quarantined with would be Kass. He doesn’t need much to make you laugh out of nothing. There are lots of guys that would be fun to be around.”
Zack Kassian, huh? That’s exactly who Connor said he WOULDN’T want to quarantine with because of how high energy he is. Opposites attract! Zin and Zang! I guess that’s why you boys are the dynamic duo.
The Raw Video
If you’re looking to watch the entire video, Draisaitl’s entire conference call is shown above. Like a lot of these zoom calls, the sound quality isn’t the best but it’s more than adequate if you’re interested in listening in without my dumb jokes and comments getting in the way.
PREVIOUS CONFERENCE CALLS
- Darnell Nurse
- Oscar Klefbom
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Alex Chiasson
- Dave Tippett
- Pacific Division captains