Sunday, April 5, 2020 | 2 a.m.
The Golden Knights were at their hotel on March 12 in Minnesota when they found out they wouldn’t be playing their game that night. The NHL was putting the season on pause, a decision that came down last month but feels like a lifetime ago.
Players were told to go home and await further instructions. First, a league-mandated self-quarantine lasted until March 27, then it was extended until April 6, and now it sits at April 15.
That’s the soonest team facilities could open, but it would surprise no one if the date is pushed back again.
So players have some time on their hands. Some Golden Knights like Nate Schmidt and Alex Tuch have been active on their Instagram accounts, while Marc-Andre Fleury showed his face through a league-hosted Zoom chat with the media.
All have come up with different ways to occupy their time while they wait for word of hockey’s return, including defenseman Brayden McNabb, whom Las Vegas Sun spoke with as he holed up in his local home.
First off Brayden, how are you doing? Keeping busy?
I’m doing alright. A little bored. Miss my teammates. I don’t know, it’s definitely a weird, weird thing but trying to keep busy with working out and going for a lot of walks and hikes with the dogs. It’s been OK, I guess.
What’s the home gym setup like? I’m sure the facilities aren’t like City National Arena.
I’ve got a bench, dumbbells, and medicine balls and I’ve got a bike so I’ve got a lot of the things that I need, so it’s not terrible. It’s enough to keep me in shape, that’s for sure.
The league has extended the players’ self-quarantine date through April 15. Are you in the same spot the rest of us are, just waiting for news?
Exactly. We don’t know much until it’s brought out and the league says something about it. We have no inside intel or anything. I wish we did, but we don’t, so we’re kind of just waiting.
Are you still hopeful that there’s going to be hockey played in some way, shape or form this season?
Yeah, 100 percent. We put ourselves in a good position. We went through a lot of adversity this year. We worked hard to put ourselves in a good situation and I like our team. We like our team and know what we have. We want to get back playing and compete for a Stanley Cup this year.
You guys in particular were on top of the Pacific Division, playing some of your best hockey before the season paused. I imagine that adds to the frustration, right?
We were getting to our peak for sure. We were playing the right way, we had guys stepping up in certain situations. It’s tough to stop in the middle of that, but everyone’s doing it. When we get back playing, we’ll all be in the same boat.