NHL coronavirus shutdown: Panarin gets crafty, Wilson finds new best friend

Ailish ForfarNHL Editor
Yahoo Sports Canada
NHL players are finding a number of ways to keep busy during the shutdown imposed following the coronavirus outbreak.
NHL players are finding a number of ways to keep busy during the shutdown imposed following the coronavirus outbreak.

This weekend marked the first of many without hockey after the NHL suspended operations on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an unsettling time for everyone as timelines and expectations continue to change rapidly, but players are finding ways to keep busy in the meantime.

Many have been actively donating money to help compensate for lost wages of arena employees, while several others have given game-worn items to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund auction at athletesrelief.org.

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Marc-Andre Fleury, David Perron, Jonathan Huberdeau, Brock Boeser and Max Pacioretty are only a few names among a long list of professional athletes across multiple sports who are participating.

Players have also been sharing messages on social media for fans, urging them to stay safe during the upcoming weeks.

With an abundance of free time now at their disposal, players are also giving fans a closer look into their personal lives, and this weekend was a mixed bag of artistic exploration and family time.

[Coronavirus: NHL provides clearance to players wishing to return home]

Nate Schmidt got in touch with his creative side, as he took us through a little remodelling of his laundry room and entryway. A very golden choice.

Thank goodness for video games at a time like this. Many NHLers picked up the sticks this weekend to show off their skills including noted gamer JT Brown, who live streamed his Fortnite exploits for nearly four hours.

Matt Calvert brought back some nostalgia from every hockey tournament ever, playing mini-sticks with the kids. We know the Colorado Avalanche had a few goaltending hiccups before the league suspension, so maybe Calvert is eyeing a position change?

Dale Weise being the ultimate Girl Dad is the content we all need right now. A father of four — Jersey, Hayes, Hunter and Jordana — Weise will definitely have a lot to keep him busy over the next few weeks.

Artemi Panarin showed off his craftsmanship by building a wooden birdhouse. He’s so proud and wholesome as he hoists it above his head like the Stanley Cup.

Tom Wilson has a brand new puppy named Halle, who will occupy a lot of his time over the next few weeks as well. He sent out this message to fans to stay safe and take care of each other while the season is on pause.

Players should get comfortable with their newfound free time, as the league decided on Monday to allow them to leave their team’s home city and return home where they will continue to self-quarantine through March 27.

Following that, the league will provide guidance on the potential of training camps opening at the 45-day mark of the CDC’s 60-day directive, meaning the earliest players will see the ice again won’t come until mid-to-late April.

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