Captains using technology to bond with teammates during pause –

Posted: March 28, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Mark Giordano is doing his best to remain in contact with his teammates during the NHL pause, but the Calgary Flames captain knows some things are out of his control.

The Flames defenseman was one of seven captains among the eight players who each represented his Pacific Division team during one of two video calls organized by the NHL on Friday, the 15th day since the League announced March 12 it would pause the season because of concerns about the coronavirus.

"I'd say Zac Rinaldo and big [Milan] Lucic are the two who get the chat going every day and once one guy starts it never stops," Giordano said. "The phone just buzzes the whole day. I've been having trouble keeping my phone alive because there are so many texts coming in and buzzing my phone, but it's great we have this.

"We have this technology now where you can FaceTime and do all this stuff and at least somewhat stay connected. We have what the team updates through emails ... to keep us posted. But not much has been changed, so it's been weird, but at least we can do things like this and stay connected a little bit."

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, whose 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) are second in the NHL behind teammate Leon Draisaitl's 110, said players remain in contact with each other, but he prefers other activities.

"There are a couple of guys left in Edmonton and I've gotten together with (defenseman) Darnell Nurse and gone outside for runs ... we keep our 6-feet distance and don't get any closer than that," McDavid said. "We can still go outside for a run. It's not exactly Arizona (weather) here yet, but at least we can go outside and get a workout in."

Video: Pacific Division stars discuss NHL Pause

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture said he's been texting 40-year-old forward Joe Thornton regularly to check up on him.

"I don't know how he's surviving," Couture said. "He's got ADD (attention deficit disorder), for sure, and when he can't go to the rink, he's lost."

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat, who is third on the Canucks in goals (22) and tied for third in points (53), said he's involved in several group chats with players.

"We have 100 chats that keep getting started and restarted, so I have a lot of messages on my phone coming from everywhere," Horvat said. "There are a lot of chirps and joking around like we would in the locker room. Everybody is missing the game, wanting to get back and play hockey as soon as possible. Everybody is trying to do what's best for their families, keeping them safe and ride this thing out until everything is safe and ready to go."

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, and father of four, is busy enough even without arranging chat sessions with teammates. Getzlaf was busy making sure his kids were safe while on the video call after they took the family golf cart into the backyard of their California home to check out the chicken coop that dad is building from scratch.

"[The chat sessions with teammates] only stays serious for about two questions and then someone starts being a you-know-what," Getzlaf said.

Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is not a fan of group texts.

"We haven't had any FaceTime sessions or anything, it's more group chat and texts, and there's a lot of chirping going on in that group chat," he said. "I'm actually thinking about deleting it because there's a lot of weird pictures and stuff like that.

"It's a lot of fun though. It keeps you busy and you can stay connected."

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