Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon is still waiting out the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in San Jose, where he played six years with the Sharks before a February trade to Washington.
Everyone has a theory on if, when and where the NHL season will resume. Dillon is no different. Hockey players have a lot of time on their hands right now to go through the scenarios.
“I think we are going to come back and play. I just think there’s so much invested,” Dillon told SportsNet’s ‘31 Thoughts’ podcast. “Not just talking about money. But I’m talking about the games we’ve played. We’re talking 70 games or whatever we finished with, guys getting injured, guys getting traded like myself. These opportunities that might never come again for some players.”
So Dillon remains cautiously optimistic. He told 31 Thoughts’ Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman that while his condo in California is too small for a home gym, a neighbor owns a gym downtown and has given him his keys to the place. That gets Dillon up and out of the house every morning at least for a workout. Otherwise, he’s waiting on his back-ordered Peloton and, like almost every NHLer at this point, has ordered a pair of rollerblades to at least keep his skating stride going during the downtime.
Dillon only got 10 games with the Caps after his emotional departure from the Sharks, where he established his career and helped San Jose reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. After telling a story about star center Joe Thornton coming into the Sharks’ closed practice facility on Christmas Day with his kids to ride the exercise bike and tape his stick, the 31 Thoughts co-hosts asked Dillon to compare Thornton to Alex Ovechkin.
“Ovi is just a guy that he just wants to win and he’s helped create that culture there in Washington ‘Let’s have some fun, let’s joke around but when the puck drops, I’m going to run through you, I’m going to do everything I can to score goals,’” Dillon said. “I mean, I don’t even know if Ovi is a hockey player. I think he’s a goal scorer, man. It’s unbelievable. It’s incredible really.”
Dillon hopes he and Ovechkin reunite at some point this summer for a Stanley Cup run. His contract is up at the end of the year, which will make for a weird summer even if the games don’t come back. He and fiancé Emma Wittchow were supposed to get married this summer, too, but even those plans are up in the air thanks to the coronavirus.
“For a lot of us, we'll play on planet Jupiter right now, we're just so excited and revved up to play," Dillon said.
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