American Hockey League President and CEO Scott Howson has announced a revised target start date for the 2020-21 AHL season, as approved by the league’s Board of Governors during its 2020 Annual Meeting. At the recommendation of the AHL’s Return to Play Task Force, the Board of Governors has approved moving the anticipated start of the 2020-21 regular season to February 5, 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.
From taking a year off of hockey to rehab an injury to playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in one of the most unique conditions, ColoradoEagles.com sat down with defenseman Conor Timmins to talk about his experience inside the NHL Bubble.
CE.com – Conor you’ve been in the bubble for a couple of weeks now, what’s your daily routine look like?
Timmins – So in the mornings it’s nothing really out of my ordinary routine at home, you wake up and grab some breakfast. After that, we fill out the apps on our phone, clear apps for the symptom questionnaire, and then go down and get tested in the hallway leading into the arena. After that, we'll usually head to workout and practice, and then usually have downtime for the rest of the day.
CE.com – Are all the meals the players eat in the bubble “team meals” or do players go off on their own for some?
Timmins – Most days guys will have breakfast and lunch together in our team lounge, but pretty much every meal you’re free to do your own thing and make your way around the bubble and see what they have to offer.
CE.com – What’s your favorite meal you’ve gotten inside the bubble?
Timmins – I’m a pretty big fan of the ribeye steak they have in one of the restaurants in the lobby. Meat potatoes kind of guy.
CE.com – We’ve seen that you guys have been able to go on some field trips to get out of the general bubble area to golf and play some other sports. What’s been your go-to activity to get your mind off of things?
Timmins – The NHL has done a great job with providing us activities to do in our downtime. They sent us to Commonwealth Stadium a few times where the Edmonton football team plays to get some outdoor time and physical activities. We've been able to play soccer and football and spike ball and other field games. Within the bubble, I've been hitting the golf simulators a little bit and playing a lot of ping pong as well.
CE.com – We heard who Logan O’Connor thinks is the best athlete off the ice, who would you say that is?
Timmins – Well it’s pretty obvious, it’s Cale for sure. Cale can absolutely hock the football. I don’t even know what a good distance is for accurate passes in football, but Cale was launching them out 50-60 yards to guys.
CE.com – Besides the field days, what do you and the other guys do for fun?
Timmins – I’ve been playing ping pong and getting in on some of the card games.
CE.com – Getting into the poker games and losing some money to your teammates?
Timmins – I’ve joined a few card games. You know, I’m not as much of a high roller as some of those guys, so I’ve only jumped in on the more basic games.
CE.om – So none of those high rollers are looking to stake any of the rookies some money?
Timmins – Oh they’re looking to pull us in, but luckily none of the rookies has taken the bait yet.
CE.com – Some people have described the bubble as a peewee hockey tournament. Everyone staying in the same hotel room, playing mini sticks in the hallway, and watching film in the conference rooms.
Timmins – There haven’t been any mini stick games going on yet. The aspect of going on the road with your team and spending all your time together makes it feel a little similar to that peewee tournament feel. It definitely brings your closer together and you make a lot of great relationships… here and in the peewee hockey tournaments as kids.
CE.com – Wrapping things up here, what was the biggest surprise for you entering the bubble?
Timmins - I think just overall how well it was put together and in the short time they had, I think they did a really good job overall. Giving us options, not making it too boring for us so we don't go out of our minds. There's been quite a bit to do, so I think just how well they put it together in such a short time was probably the biggest surprise.