Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The NHL is still waiting to roll out its plan to resume the season, meanwhile players are doing whatever they can to keep their minds and bodies right for when they do get the green light to get back on the ice. That includes Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis.
Ellis was one of a handful of Predator players that decided to leave Nashville, returning to Canada two weeks after the league put a pause on the season. Since then, he’s been staying busy, spending time with his family and picking up some new hobbies around the house.
“My wife’s father is really handy, he is a general contractor so he’s kind of teaching me the tricks of the trade and we’ve done a lot of work around the house from electrician stuff, pluming stuff, and building a couple things. I’m just trying to pick up odds and ends jobs that I’ve never been able to do,” said Ellis.
The Preds alternate captain said he has talked with several of his teammates over the past several weeks, trying to assume a leadership role, even if it is from afar.
“It’s a much different circumstance than anyone has been in, so the biggest thing is just keeping in contact with the guys. I text a couple guys every few days just to keep it light, more or less. To be honest, it’s a difficult situation to do anything, you just hope everyone is doing their part to stay in shape,” added Ellis.
Ellis said one of the main reasons for returning to Canada was so he’d be able to work out in his own home gym. He recently bought a Pilates reformer to help with stretching and flexibility. He’s also rollerblading and playing hockey in the driveway, but it’s impossible to replicate that skating motion.
Ellis said, “In one of those phases, I think we have to go through some sort of training camp. There are health and the injuries risks to consider, that is why we would need to be skating for 3-4 weeks to get back in that stride.”
As for resuming the season, Ellis is fully on board, as long as safety comes first.
“Safety comes first for everyone that is involved whether it be players or staff, management or whatever it is, but I feel like we sort of owe it to the fans to a certain degree with everyone staying at home and doing their part. If we could play, I think it would be a great way to keep people at home and break into some of the boredom,” added Ellis.
Ellis has been participating in weekly NHLPA calls, keeping up with what other players in the league are saying about returning to play in the near future. While those discussions are confidential, he said the information has been good.
“With each passing week, things can change and the timeline gets smaller and smaller, but everything depends on how the virus plays out. The PA has done a great job informing the players but it’s really a waiting game until we get to a point where it is safe enough for us to play,” said Ellis.