Andy Greene's daily routine looks a little different these days; with a lot less hockey being played and a lot more time spent at home with his wife Rachel and their two sons Colton (4) and Maddox (2). It's been an adjustment for the 14-year veteran.
Nine weeks into quarantine, many of his New York Islanders teammates have utilized their free time to pick up hobbies like cooking or playing the guitar, but Greene laughed off the idea of having any additional time for such luxuries.
"Honestly, I'm busier now than during the season," Greene said. "Being home from 7 in the morning until 7:30-8 o'clock at night, you're dealing with them. It's not like they're going to school where you have two or three hours in the morning to go and do something. It's just constantly doing stuff with them. It's not like I've been able to pick up some new hobbies or enhance some old ones."
Video: Isles Highlights: Andy Greene
The former New Jersey Devils captain was dealt to the Islanders on Feb. 16 in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and defenseman prospect David Quenneville.
In a little over three weeks with his new club, Greene had seamlessly transitioned into the Islanders systems and was logging crucial minutes alongside defensive partner Ryan Pulock. With 14 games remaining in the regular season, including the Isles' home finale against his former team, the momentum ceased as the NHL issued an indefinite pause on March 12.
"After the trade, you start to get settled in," Greene reflected. "Then, this, a [global] pandemic happens and what can you do? We always say the old cliche, 'control what you can control.' I'm a fairly laid back guy and pretty easy going, so you just can't sit there and stress about something you have no control over or worry about it. Luckily, I haven't been affected personally with any family or friends getting it, but it's a serious thing going on right now in all aspects of life."
For Colton and Maddox, life in quarantine has presented its own obstacles. No longer being able to spend the first half of their day at preschool or go watch, 'Daddy play at his new rink and see Sparky,' the boys are adjusting to the new norms of remote learning and social distancing.
"Try putting a mask on a two-and-a-half year-old, it's a good wrestling match," Greene said with a laugh. "For them, it's an adjustment too. They want to go to school and they want to socialize with their friends and get that interaction. They don't understand why family hasn't come out to visit us, why we haven't seen anybody, go to the parks or just go to Target. Before this happened it was everyday life and everything we did was a normal day."
And while Greene admits he's nearly ready for bed by eight o'clock, he's relishing in the precious time as a father. Instead of shuffling to the rink for practice or packing up for a road trip, he's had the opportunity to witness his sons' momentous milestones and as a family, make priceless memories. Colton recently learned to ride a bike without training wheels, quite the impressive feat for a four-and-a-half year-old.
"I sit there and look at them and I think they've grown two or three inches," Greene said. "They look taller. Just watching them learn. Early on, my oldest Colton learned to ride a bike. Now, I've got him on roller blades and he's doing awesome. It's really cool to see that stuff live. During the season, I get videos or pictures all of the time for everything that's happening. Now, I get to see it in-person."
Greene had only suited up in 10 games in an Isles crest prior to the pause, where compiled three assists, but was embracing the opportunity to reach the post-season for what would have been his second time in the last seven years.
"Being part of the team and being part of the playoff race -- just in that moment -- I think it was re-energizing," Greene said. "It was fun to be playing meaningful hockey at a meaningful time of year."
Greene and his family were en-route to Traverse City, Michigan, where they spend their summers and were about halfway to their destination when Greene shared updates on the past couple of months.
He remains optimistic that the 2019-20 season will be salvaged despite no official word having been delivered or confirmation on the circumstances that could potentially unfold. In the interim, he figured he would help get his family all settled back in Michigan.
"You put so much work into it starting last summer and into the season and this [break]," Greene said. "It's obviously something you can't control. First and foremost, you want everyone to be safe and healthy. From a personal standpoint and for people in the community. You want this to get fixed and see people healthy and safe again. Then, everything else takes care of itself."