With the NHL season having been paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, Kevin Weekes will continue his Friday Four. The former goalie and current NHL Network analyst will be blogging about four of his favorite or memorable items on a certain topic. Today, he explains four ways he has stayed involved with fans during the pause.
I never want to stop bringing great content to NHL players and fans around the world. Even though the season is paused, I still wanted to do something because we have so many viewers who watch us on NHL Network even though we had to pause filming due to the coronavirus.
That's why, since the season was paused March 12, I have been doing interviews on my Instagram live, @KevWeekes, to keep people connected to the game we love. Without sports I wouldn't be here, so I just wanted to give people some normalcy.
It has been great connecting with players, including goalies Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers, as well as retired goalies Roberto Luongo and Jonas Hiller. I even got to chat with New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin on the season he's having.
The interviews haven't been limited to past and present players. I've also spoken to coaches, including Craig Berube of the Blues and Rick Tocchet of the Arizona Coyotes.
Each has won the Stanley Cup; Berube and the Blues did so last season, and Tocchet was an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins when they won back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017. Hearing about those experiences, as well as other life-lessons from these coaches, was very interesting.
One of my favorite interviews was with Mike Vaughn, founder of Vaughn Sports. We all know how synonymous that name is with sports, especially hockey and goalies, having provided equipment for generations. We all know I'm a goalie gear nerd and I could talk about this stuff all day. We did talk about gear, but also about how Mike and his team have been using their materials to make personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses, and all those on the front lines fighting the coronavirus.
Vaughn was kind enough to give us a behind-the-scenes look at his plants and how all this came about. We've seen other businesses do this as well; it has been refreshing to see them put business aside and step up during this time of need.
I also spoke to legendary sports agent Pat Brisson, which turned out to be a very insightful interview. For those who may not know his name, he's the man behind contracts for many big-name players in the NHL, including Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Flyers center Claude Giroux, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, just to name a few, and was ranked No. 12 on Forbes magazine's list of sports agents in 2019. It was intriguing to hear how and why Brisson got involved in the sports agency business and to hear him discuss the business.
Between players, coaches, agents and other hockey figures, I've tried to provide fans with content they likely are missing without hockey. Hopefully we'll all be able to get back to the game we love very soon.