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Short Shifts

Marner turns to backyard golf to help maintain hand-eye coordination

Maple Leafs forward hitting balls into net set up at home during NHL pause

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / NHL.com Staff Writer

Mitchell Marner has traded in his hockey stick for a golf club.

The Toronto Maple Leafs forward, like many of his NHL colleagues, has a stationary bike and weights in his residence to stay physically fit but needed an outlet to work on his hand-eye coordination during self-quarantine. His solution: swatting golf balls instead of shooting pucks.

Not on the local golf course, though. That would be in violation of social distancing ordinances.

"I have a golf net in the backyard, so I hit golf balls into that," Marner said Tuesday. "Hitting a golf ball with one of my irons and playing around with the dog like that.

"Hoping my hands will come back when I grab a hockey stick again … hopefully will grab one around the house and start to stickhandle."

With the NHL season having been paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, Marner said he's been enjoying sleeping in until 9:30 a.m. when he can. The main reason for waking up earlier is his 11-month-oId black lab named Zeus, who frequently needs to be taken out at 8.

"He's been sleeping in a bit more the past couple of days, so we'll see," Marner said.

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