Updated 2x at 4:25 PM: he Free Press’s Helene St. James wrote an article discussing the means by which the Red Wings’ players and coaches are trying to remain healthy during the complicated times that we all face as a world facing a global pandemic:
“I know in our locker room guys are doing a great job trying to be as safe as possible away from the rink,” Dylan Larkin said. “With us being tested as much as we are, you are just trying to take care of yourself away from the rink so that when you are at the rink, you are not going to put yourself or anyone else at risk.
“You can do all that, but unfortunately in the world we live in, and the uncertainty of this virus, sometimes it’s not enough. You have to be ready. It’s going to be a strange year.”
Because they were part of last summer’s playoff bubble, the Stars and Penguins started their training camps Jan. 3. The Wings have been underway since Dec. 31, first taking to the ice on New Year’s Day.
“Anytime we’re not working out or not on the ice, we have masks on,” Luke Glendening said. “When we come in we get our temperature checked and tested every day. It’s always with a mask and social distancing as best we can.”
The Wings play their first four games at home before heading out on the road. Usually that’s a time for bonding with teammates over dinners at nice restaurants. Not so this season.
“From what I understand, we are going to be pretty confined to our hotel,” Larkin said. “There won’t be much outside contact. From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be all meals at hotel. You can go for a walk with a mask, which is OK. We are willing to do that because we want to play. Our guys are really committed to wearing a mask and doing all the right things to make sure we are not jeopardizing ourselves or teammates.”
Update: Here’s a bit more from MLive’s Ansar Khan:
“These are different times,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “It’s just the reality of it.
“When I’ve taken teams to Europe, I’ve used the phrase, ‘You got to roll with the punches.’ That’s how it’s going to have to be this year. There might be times where the schedule changes. There might be times where guys that were supposed to be in the lineup all the sudden aren’t in the day you’re playing a game. We’re going to have to be relaxed and ready to handle whatever comes our way.”
Dylan Larkin said players are trying to be as safe as possible in the room and away from the rink.
“When you come to the rink, you’re not going to put yourself or anyone else at risk that could jeopardize our team,” Larkin said. “You can do all that, but unfortunately in the world we live in and the uncertainty of this virus, sometimes it’s not enough and you can’t control it.
“It’s going to be a strange year. Just have to be ready for the unknown and any possible situation.”
Update #2: Even more from the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
“We are going to have to roll with the punches,” Blashill said. “There might be times when the schedule changes. There might be times where guys that are supposed to be in the lineup suddenly aren’t in the lineup on the same day that you’re playing a game. We have to be ready to handle whatever comes our way.”
Players are adhering to any, and all, protocols but understand that might not be enough to eliminate bumps along the way.
“It’s something that’s a reality for us, for the league, for the teams,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “In our locker room, guys have done a great job of trying to be as safe as possible away from the rink. Unfortunately in the world we live in, the uncertainty of this virus, sometimes that’s not enough and you can’t control it.
“You have to be ready, other guys have to be ready. It’s going to be a strange year.”