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Arizona, Family and Piano Instrumental in Chychrun's Current Pastimes

The tune of Jakob Chychrun's day-to-day life during the NHL's pause

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

Jakob Chychrun is staying close to loved ones, near and far.

He's hosting his parents, in from Boca Raton, chatting with his sister and relatives via FaceTime, and enjoying a lovely housewarming gift from his grandmother.

"We're doing well," he said of himself and his parents. "We're just hanging in there. We've been hanging out as a family. We've got the dog here, too, which is nice. They've been kind of spoiling me, making me breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, so it's definitely been nice to have them here.

"[We're] keeping in touch with loved ones, checking in on them. We FaceTime my sister who is in Ottawa and my grandparents almost every day. It's just nice to see their faces and chat with them."

Though his grandmother, Elaine, is thousands of miles away in Florida, she's sort of with them, too.

"My grandma [recently] handed me down her piano," he said, "so that's been really special. It's been really cool to have that in my house. You know, she's great. She's the cutest person in the world. She's getting old now, I think she's 85, but she does her workouts every day. She walks every morning and stays active. She's awesome."

The piano is a timely gift, too. While he can't book piano lessons during the current stay-at-home mandate, the budding defenseman has been trying to teach himself.

"I've actually picked it up pretty quick," he said. "I've always found it as a really pretty instrument to listen to, so I've been enjoying it. [My grandmother] wanted me to have it. She always says that now that I have it in my house that it's like I always have a little piece of me with her now, so it's really special."

Practicing the piano is one of the many things he's doing to stay busy, which is a large part of mental health these days.

Chychrun's mother works on a coloring book. His father will chip golf balls. Chychrun does some of the latter with his father, sometimes, and always just enjoys the Arizona climate.

"[Just] trying to get some sun, some vitamin D, and just doing everything I can to stay off the couch," he explained. "It can be easy to migrate to it at a time like this. [I'm] just trying to stay active as best I can, enjoying the sun. We're so lucky that we live in Arizona. This is just a great place to be, especially with the weather.

"It's hard to go from a routine every single day to having absolutely nothing to do throughout your day, so I think doing the best you can to have your routine, whether it's [something] as simple as setting an alarm, making your bed, making yourself breakfast, or going for a walk.

He added: "I think that's so important. I think for me, the biggest thing is just staying active. It's so easy just to stay in bed or sit on the couch and do nothing, and I think when you do that and feel lazy, that's not really good for your mental health."

Video: Jakob Chychrun - NHL Pause Conference Call

Right now, he is in the same place as everyone other hockey player, trying to make do and waiting for hockey someday to return.

"At the end of the day, it's really not up to us," he said. "We really hope the world can turn the corner on this thing and end up making it safe for everybody to go back to regular everyday life. It would be awesome if we would be able to continue the season and finish and have a playoff, but if not, we'll all recover from it, we'll all be alright.

"Whenever hockey starts it's going to be an exciting time, whether that's this season or next season. But, hopefully we'll be playing sooner than later."

Until then, family time, hikes in the sunshine, a little bit of downtime in front of the TV and, of course, the piano. Really, not a bad note in the bunch.

Lead Photo Credit: Andre Ringuette - NHLI via Getty Images // Second Photo Credit: Joel Auerbach - NHLI via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images

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