Victor Hedman set himself up for success. When the NHL season was put on pause, the Lightning defenseman grabbed what he needed to stay in shape before leaving the building.
“I have a little workout studio in my house and I stole some stuff from the team gym before we left, so I’m all set,” Hedman said on an NHL media webcast Monday.
Hedman’s having a little fun with words here. The team told players they could take things they needed, but Hedman’s version sounds better, so we’ll stick with that one.
Like most of the Lightning players, Hedman stayed in Tampa while there’s no hockey. The 29-year-old, who is immensely proud of only having played for one Swedish and one NHL team in his career, called this his second home.
He reiterated multiple times that there are much more important things than hockey on the line as the world faces a global pandemic. Nearly every question he answered included that reference.
“Hockey is secondary right now; it’s about health and limiting the amount of people dying from this terrible virus,” he answered when asked his preference for resuming the season.
Hedman said it’d be tough to jump right into the playoffs after such a long layoff. He’d like to see some regular-season games to ease that transition.
Florida center Aleksander Barkov is glad he doesn’t have to make the decision, but he’d like to see some kind of tournament. Ideas have been thrown around that would feature teams on the bubble or everyone mathematically in the race. The Panthers were three points out of the playoffs with a game in hand, so perhaps that’s not surprising.
Montreal defenseman Shea Weber admitted a tournament would be the best bet for the Canadiens, who were a long shot to make the postseason, but said it wouldn’t be fair to the teams at the top of the league. (The Lightning were second in the Eastern Conference when the season paused.)
As on previous versions of this webcast, with questions from NHL Public Relations, everyone was asked what they did not miss about playing the other participants.
Hedman doesn’t miss having to worry about ending up on the wrong end of a highlight-reel play. No one misses going up against Weber’s rocket of a shot, one of the hardest in the league.
“I get out of the way and let the goalie see the puck, and you can blame him if he lets it in,” Hedman joked. “You try to get out of the way, maybe box a guy out and let (Andrei Vasilevskiy) or Curtis (McElhinney) see the puck.”
Everyone was asked what TV shows they’re binging. Barkov, however, isn’t really into TV; he’s been playing video games. Hedman immediately suggested he must be playing Fortnite, but Barkov said he’s playing the new Call of Duty game. Hedman’s face displayed heavy skepticism.
Hedman has been watching The Outsider, a show on HBO based on Stephen King’s novel by the same title.
Mostly, though, the now three-dog household has been keeping Hedman and his wife, Sanna Grundberg, busy. They have a French bulldog named Harry and are fostering two puppies from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
“I just want everyone to stay safe, stay at home as much as you can,” Hedman signed off of the call. “We’ll see you hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Contact Diana C. Nearhos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @dianacnearhos.