Seldom one to mince phrases or maintain his tongue on the ice, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has largely stayed off social media and out of the general public eye through the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday he spoke at size throughout a convention name from his residence in London, Ontario, Canada, addressing the likelihood, or lack thereof, of resuming play this season, his home life throughout quarantine, the Kings’ future and even life after hockey.
The NHL suspended play on March 12, at some point after the Kings defeated the Ottawa Senators for his or her seventh straight win. At the moment, that surge appears to be like like it is going to have wrapped up the Kings’ season, albeit prematurely, on a excessive word.
“Truthfully, I don’t see how the season goes to return. I actually don’t. We do not know when this virus goes to be over,” Doughty mentioned.
Whereas the NHL has consulted groups for availability of their arenas by means of August, a state of affairs of restarting the season or initiating the playoffs effectively into the summer time can be sophisticated to say the least. Qualification for the playoffs after an incomplete season can be contentious, and so too is likely to be the playoff format, Doughty mentioned.
Worse nonetheless, such a schedule might critically influence subsequent season as coaching camps usually start in early to mid September. Doughty mentioned he was involved concerning the influence on gamers’ our bodies, given his expertise taking part in within the 2016 World Cup of Hockey earlier than leaping into the 2016-7 common season. That was a a lot shorter and fewer intense event than the Stanley Cup playoffs, although Doughty mentioned he felt the results all season.
“In case you solely get a one-week coaching camp with a pair exhibition video games, you’re going to destroy your physique,” Doughty mentioned.
Doughty mentioned he usually takes three to 4 weeks off fully to permit his physique to heal, then trains all summer time heading into camp. Many gamers resumed coaching as finest they may–entry to ice has been virtually unprecedented through the quarantine interval and group exercises have been nixed–however Doughty mentioned he solely took about 4 days off after the league suspended play.
Figuring out from residence has been straightforward sufficient for Doughty who, like many, has had no scarcity of free time through the quarantine. Other than pumping iron, Doughty has watched “Homeland,” “Ozark,” and “Westworld” along with his spouse.
They’re additionally dad and mom of two younger youngsters, aged 2 years and 6 months, and Doughty has relished the chance to spend extra time along with his household.
“Through the season, it’s robust on our wives. I’m fairly strict with needing to have the ability to sleep. She permits me to try this, so she’s up with the youngsters each time they’re crying and, for essentially the most half, taking good care of them,” Doughty mentioned. “I’m actually blissful I’ve been capable of take slightly bit off her shoulders.”
Doughty has additionally saved in contact along with his Kings teammates by means of convention calls, group chats and, in fact, a little bit of good-natured chiding towards youthful gamers for his or her social media posts.
His chirps apart, Doughty mentioned he was inspired by the path of the more and more youthful Kings this season even when they have been as soon as once more close to the underside of the league.
He regarded ahead to the event of protection prospects like Tobias Bjornfot, Mikey Anderson and Kale Clague. He lauded defenseman and plus-player Matt Roy’s first season in Los Angeles. He praised rookie heart Blake Lizotte, an undrafted free agent. He additionally reaffirmed his robust religion in ahead Adrian Kempe’s skill to develop right into a constant weapon for the Kings.
Doughty additionally mentioned he was disenchanted that the group couldn’t obtain extra success sooner underneath first-year coach Todd McLellan.
“All of the gamers actually liked Todd. He’s a tough coach however on the identical time he’s slightly little bit of a gamers coach,” mentioned Doughty, who added that McLellan was demanding however very clear in what he wished from his group.
Doughty, 30, additionally addressed what his life is likely to be like after hockey, although he had not considered it in an excessive amount of depth. Many former gamers go into broadcasting, and New Jersey Devils P.Okay. Subban just lately took to internet hosting a hockey trivia present, a possible springboard to different leisure ventures.
“I believe I’d be good at it, however I don’t suppose it’s for me. I’d be respectable at broadcasting as a result of I perceive the sport and everybody’s system,” mentioned Doughty, who performed for the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm. “What I need to do after I’m carried out, I need to transfer again to London. My dream is to personal an OHL group.”
Doughty reiterated a number of instances that he couldn’t foresee any cheap technique of salvaging this season, although he mentioned he remained ready for competitors if and when it did resume.
Whereas his rationales concerning the sanctity of competitors and security of gamers have been well-reasoned, one reporter couldn’t assist however marvel if Doughty would possibly really feel in a different way if the Kings have been in a playoff place when play was suspended.
Doughty responded with out hesitation, “Yeah, for positive.”