Throughout the season, tampabaylightning.com will periodically talk to Lightning players or coaches to get their first-hand account of a critical moment from the season or just what's on their mind currently.
In this installment, the first during the NHL pause, we hear from recently-acquired forward Barclay Goodrow, who was traded to the Lightning from San Jose on February 24. Goodrow played eight games with the Bolts before the season went on hiatus, recording two assists and displaying his never-back-down style of hockey in a particularly memorable 5-3 win in Boston that immediately endeared him to his new teammates.
As told to tampabaylightning.com beat writer Bryan Burns, Goodrow discusses how his life got completely flipped on its head following his trade to Tampa Bay coupled with the pause to the NHL season, his home workout regimen to stay in shape and ready for when the season resumes and a new addition to his family that's kept him and his girlfriend entertained and busy during self-quarantine.
"The last couple months of my life have been pretty strange, almost surreal. I guess it's been that way for everybody, but getting traded right before this pandemic hit has certainly turned my life upside down. I was in San Jose for six years. Being sent to Tampa Bay was very unexpected, but I'm pumped to be here. When everything started happening with the coronavirus, I was just trying to get comfortable with my new team and my new home. We had just gotten back from my first road trip with the guys. That definitely helped me to feel a lot more comfortable. Was getting a feel for our new home, and then on that Thursday, we were supposed to play Philadelphia at home, went to the rink for morning skate and word came out the season was on hold. It was frustrating for sure, but it was for the betterment of everybody. Kind of bummed out because the team was looking really good heading into the playoffs. Hopefully there's a way we can get back into the season and try to finish what we had started.
Once the trade went down, I went looking for a place almost immediately and was able to find one pretty quickly with the help of my girlfriend Madison, who was in San Jose. She was able to pack up all our stuff and get it ready to ship out. Movers came to my place in San Jose and picked up all the furniture and the car and brought it here. It was actually a pretty smooth process. My girlfriend is from Toronto. She's a lot closer to home now, so that makes it a bit easier. Whenever a trade like that happens, the players get the relatively easy part. We just show up to the rink and play. All the logistics are handled by your girlfriend, or wife for the married guys. She was a huge help for me. She handled all the movers, all the packing, things like that. She's trying to get adjusted to our new life in Tampa, but obviously with everything that's going on in the world right now it's harder for the two of us to really get out and explore.
I was lucky enough to be traded at the beginning of a five-game homestand, which gave me a chance to get settled in Tampa, a chance to get to know the area. On the road, you get to the know your new teammates a lot better. Coming from out of conference, I only saw the Lightning two times a year. You know the players, you've seen highlights and all that stuff, but you don't really know what everybody's about until you're on the same team as them. You don't get an appreciation for them, and now you see why they've had so much success the last few years. It's a lot easier to appreciate once you're on their side and see everybody at practice and how they work. We had a great game in Boston to start off that road trip. It was a really physical game, lot of fights, playoff-type atmosphere. I love playing that style of hockey. That's a big reason why I was brought here, especially when you're playing a rival like that you could see down the line in the postseason. Those games at the end of the season are fun, kind of setting the mood for the playoffs. Those are the games you like to be a part of. It was good in that aspect but frustrating when you get back, you think you're getting things ready for a successful playoff run and then everything just shuts down. It's tough when you know that maybe that could be the end of it. I hope it's not.
Everyone's been great since the first day, super welcoming, including of myself and the new guys they brought in before the trade deadline. I think that's continued throughout. We have a group chat right now that's always buzzing. That's how most of the guys are staying in touch with one another these days since we can't see each other face-to-face. I've been able to work out, go on jogs, stuff like that. It's hard when you're supposed to be isolated. You don't really leave the house because you don't want to put yourself in danger. I think everyone's doing the best they can to stay in shape and stay ready for when the season does restart. I work out in the morning, alternating either upper body or lower body. And then I get a jog in the afternoon or evening to keep the cardio going. It's tough when you don't have all the equipment you would at the team facility. Our gym at the rink is pretty depleted of weights and bands because it's all out at players' houses. I was able to get some stuff here at my house. I'm waiting on a Peloton to be delivered to get some bike rides in at the house. This whole pause is something no one has ever planned for. No one ever thought it would be a situation like what we're seeing now. But we're all making the best of it and trying to use our free time to get in the best possible shape physically and mentally for when the season restarts.
I think at this point with everything being an unknown, it seems like there's no definite answer to what the right way is going to be to restart the season. I can only imagine by the time we get back to playing, I would assume we'll have to go right to playoffs. As far as format and who gets in, I have no idea how they're going to handle that. Obviously, there are teams on the hunt for the playoffs that won't get in. Whoever has to make that decision is going to be have please a lot of people, and I don't know if that's possible. I've seen the rumors of different playoff formats, regional sites, all those kinds of things. Saw where Major League Baseball was talking about playing their games in Arizona at spring training sites. Every avenue needs to be investigated. If there's a chance to play, we need to figure out how to get it done. Everyone wants to play. Everyone wants to finish the season.
I had a buddy get coronavirus. He pretty much had no symptoms and is fully recovered. I think that's what makes it scary. You can have it and not realize it and give it to somebody else, and their symptoms are a lot worse. No family members of mine have had it thankfully. Everybody's doing well. My sister Martha works in a hospital in Ontario. She's seen a lot of stuff firsthand, which I can only assume is pretty tough to see and be a part of day after day. She's hanging in there and doing her part. I respect what she does so much. Everyone else in my family is hanging in and staying quarantined and hoping things can relax.
We decided to foster a couple of dogs during the pause. I was watching the news one night, and they were talking about how the Humane Society of Tampa Bay was jam packed with animals because most of the shelters were closed. Thought it would be a good thing for us to do. We're stuck inside our condo and bored anyway. To have an animal to provide us some entertainment, hopefully we can provide entertainment to the animals, give them a good home for a little bit, it's a win-win situation. We adopted two pups, Norman and Winston, but unfortunately Winston developed ringworm on his body, so he had to go back for some treatment. They're both part of the same litter. A mom, dad and seven pups were picked up by someone driving through Georgia. They were on their way to Florida and found them, dropped them off at the Humane Society. We took two of the pups, Victor Hedman took two and Braydon Coburn took the last three. We think they're a Labrador mix of some sort, not exactly sure what the mix is. They're great-looking puppies. And they're so much fun to be around. I'm glad we could help out. We're all just kind of helping each other through this difficult time.