Everybody in every walk of life misses their day-to-day activities while social distancing and self-quarantining are in effect.
NHL players are no different and Brandon Carlo spoke to that in a Zoom conference call with Bruins reporters on Monday afternoon as the league enters its second month with the regular season on pause after stopping things in the first week of March.
The 23-year-old Carlo spoke to that void that everybody is feeling while living in his home state of Colorado with his girlfriend Mason and two puppies while waiting out the eventual but unknown future return to normalcy.
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“It’s been that way for everybody. I think there’s a lot of people that are feeling a bit more lonely at this time. It makes you appreciate the aspects of your life that you might not enjoy or appreciate all the time, like going to work and doing those things. It’s a good reset for everybody to realize how blessed and lucky we are to be in those situations,” said Carlo. “For me specifically, being a part of this team is the light of my life each and every day. Going into that locker room and being able to smile and laugh with the guys, it’s something that is so special.
"It’s not like anything I’ve ever felt. It’s like having 30 brothers with you every single day. So I definitely miss those moments. But there’s been chatter with guys at certain times. We’ve tried to contact each other. [Zdeno Chara] called me the other day and we had a good conversation. It’s good to be able to still communicate with people through mobile devices."
Some are more optimistic than others about the NHL being able to resume this regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs with summer playoff hockey on the table along with a delayed start to the 2020-21 hockey season.
You can count Carlo among those hopeful that things will resume in some fashion with the NHL over the next few months. It will only happen when government health agencies can hopefully lift current restrictions as universal testing — and perhaps someday down the line vaccines — start to become a reality.
It also might look completely different from anything we’ve ever seen with empty arenas and neutral site regional locations for the actual games, but Carlo is viewing the glass half-full that a finish to the 2019-20 season might still be in the cards.
“I think as time goes by the picture is a little harder to see,” said Carlo, who took over duties as the NHLPA player rep for the Bruins after Adam McQuaid left the team a couple of years ago. “But then I’ll read an article and realize that they are brainstorming every option, and then my optimism pops back in. I think they are definitely brainstorming every option from the [NHLPA] calls that we’ve had with the league.
It’s been great to hear that we’re going to work as hard we can to establish as many games as we can for this season and still try to make the ultimate goal of awarding a Stanley Cup happen. I’m trying to do everything I can to stay in shape because I am optimistic about the season returning.
Right now, all anybody can have is hope or optimism for a return to some normalcy as more important battles are being waged for people’s lives in places like New York City.
But it was still good to hear those kinds of words coming out of Carlo’s mouth with the return of the NHL nowhere in sight at the current moment.