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Players on Pause: Derek Stepan

The Coyotes' alternate captain talks 'Dad time', entertainment preferences, and grilling with his family

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

While the NHL continues its break in play due to the ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, 'Players on Pause' catches up with different Coyotes players to see how they're spending their time.

Derek Stepan is in the midst of his third season with the Coyotes, and has been spending time with his wife, Stephanie, and their two kids at their home in Scottsdale during quarantine.

"It's a unique time to be around," he said, explaining what the past two weeks have been like. "It's something that at times is very scary, and at times is unpredictable and you don't really know exactly what's going on."


Stepan is one of seven players on the roster to have appeared in all 70 games prior to play being halted, and was one of 10 players on the team to have amassed double-digits in goals scored. 

"My experience so far has been is we've been doing social distancing, we've been working really hard at staying at home and making sure that we're doing our part to slow this thing down."

How have you been passing the time?

"Honestly, it's a lot of dad time for me right now, I've been trying to spend as much time with the kids as I can, they're at a fun age right now, so we do a lot of outdoor activities in the driveway and the backyard. It's been nice enough outside to get in the pool, so we've been swimming a little bit. For the most part during the day it's a lot of dad stuff, but when the kids go down for naps at noonish, I try to get my workout in. I alternate from doing a bike one day and then a different workout the next day, just trying to stay in somewhat shape, there's a lot of unknown with this and we've got to keep the body going on here a little bit.

Any particular TV Shows or Movies you're binge watching?

"Me and my wife, we're watching "Vikings", it's on the History Channel, we're really into that right now. We just started watching "Tiger King", it's the most insane thing ever. Once we get the kids down, I've been spending a lot of time with Stephanie, trying to just relax with her, we get our time together when the kids go to bed watching TV and movies."

Any books you're reading?

"We bought a bunch of books, but we haven't really gotten around to reading them though. I'm sure at some point here we'll sit down and say 'hey, we've gotten enough TV, let's read some books.' I'm not a huge reader, but I can get hooked on something if I get started on it."

As far as video games, have you been playing to stay entertained?

"No video games for me. Back when I was younger, a lot of video games, but now there's no video games. Me and my wife will play some board games or card games once in a while -- but video games, those are the younger Derek days." 

What's life been like at home with more time to spend with your family?

"We spend a lot of time on the road as players, so I'm kind of looking at the social distancing and quarantining as a silver lining to spend some quality time with the family that I may not get at this time of the year. So yeah, I've been able to log some good hours and I've really enjoyed it."

Have there been challenges to staying in shape? What have you been doing to stay conditioned?

"At my house I don't have a gym, I don't have a whole lot of equipment because most of the time we're doing it at the rink, or when we're back home over the summer I'm working out at the gym there, so there's no need to have one here at the house. For the workouts, we've been able to find some things that have worked, I was able to sneak a dumbbell out of the team gym and I've been basing workouts off of that, and with body weight, kind of getting some old-school stuff in there. We do have a Peloton bike here, so I've been able to get on that a bit. It hasn't been too difficult to motivate yourself to work out, there's a lot of downtime right now, so it's nice to fill an hour of your time working out."

Video: ARI@EDM: Stepan pots Schmaltz's dish to win it in OT

Have you taken up any new cooking skills in the kitchen during this time? What have you focused on diet-wise?

"Honestly, I'm not going to say that I'm an amazing cook by any means, I don't do a whole lot of kitchen work but we do grill quite a bit, we enjoy grilling, my family loves having that charcoal taste of a grill on with a nice piece of chicken or a burger. We're pretty much grilling every other night right now."

What steps have you been taking to keep you and your family safe? Any particular message you'd like to pass along to fans?

"First and foremost, the protection of my family is the most important to me, we're taking the recommendations that we're hearing and we're taking them to heart. We're doing our best to quarantine ourselves and only leaving the house for the essentials and the necessities. My message to everyone would be that I know it's tough, that it's not easy and everybody has their different situations, but you're not alone in this, we're all together, we all have to unite as one to pull through this."

Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images

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