Around the time that the NHL first required players to start self-quarantining, Brandon Tanev decided to start re-watching his favorite show, Seinfeld.
"It's just been giving me something to do," said Tanev, who has remained in Pittsburgh. "It's a show that I love, my brothers like it, our family likes it. We've always watched it. It's definitely binge-worthy. It's just something you can kill some time with because you're so familiar with it."
One day, the Penguins winger decided to randomly post a GIF of the character Kramer onto the story of his Instagram account, @brandontanev.
"I put one up and some of my buddies from back home and some friends just started laughing and messaged me about it," Tanev said. "Ever since then I just kind of kept doing it. It's just something fun to put out there and maybe show something different about yourself."
It does actually show a side of Tanev's personality, as part of the reason his friends got such a kick out of the Kramer GIF is how similar he is to the character.
"Some people have told me that I kind of remind them of Kramer in the sense of someone who has little quirks and stuff like that," Tanev said with a laugh.
It's become routine for Tanev to dig up and post a new Kramer GIF onto his Instagram story, which disappears after 24 hours, every morning. He plans to keep it going as long as the current situation lasts, and has the motivation to do so.
"Most of my friends don't think I can keep it going for the remainder of this quarantine or the remainder of this situation, until things kind of get back together," he laughed. "So, I've just been doing it on a daily basis. I guess it's become more of a routine. I wake up and it's just almost like, I got to put this up now. It's that time of the day."
Kramer, played by Michael Richards, is Tanev's favorite Seinfeld character (though he also likes George Costanza's father Frank, played by Jerry Stiller).
Tanev's favorite Seinfeld episodes are "The Soup Nazi" and "The Chicken Roaster," which features Kenny Rogers. In addition to seeing all of the episodes numerous times, Tanev also had the chance to see Jerry Seinfeld himself perform a couple of years ago when he was with the Winnipeg Jets.
"That was pretty cool to see his humor in person, where he's just by himself rather than putting it through the show," Tanev said. "He actually came to Winnipeg. It was a weird situation, but we'll take it. A couple of the guys who like the show and Jerry Seinfeld went. We had an off day the next day and were able to go see him that night, which was nice."
Tanev hasn't seen the "Seinfeld" episode on Curb Your Enthusiam, but said he's adding that show to his list.
"I should probably start watching that," Tanev said. "I heard it's the same humor as Seinfeld. It might be something to give me a nice time-killer when it's raining or you're a little bored and don't know what to do."
Tanev has the nickname 'Turbo' for a reason. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan called Tanev a 'ball of energy,' while Brandon's older brother Chris said he's always talking and buzzing around. So, Tanev has been trying to stay active as best he can when he's not watching Seinfeld or shows like Ozark, Outer Banks, Unorthodox or the Michael Jordan documentary 'The Last Dance.'
"When the weather's nice, there's some nice trails and stuff that you can go into and just walk and get some fresh air," Tanev said. "Everyone's safety and health is important, so you try to keep your distance. I've also been doing some rollerblading and some running. I'm not used to running long distance, so that's a nice change of pace."
Tanev is also staying busy keeping in touch with his family members and his friends. His mom, Sophie, works at a hospital in Toronto, so Tanev tries to check in with her as much as he can to see how she's doing and if everything is going well at her job. He also talks to his dad, Mike, Chris and his younger brother, Kyle, every couple of days - even if it's only for a minute.
Tanev also does Zoom and FaceTime calls with his friends from back home and Providence College at least once a week.
"There's so many different platforms now to get in contact with family and friends," Tanev said. "That keeps it light and it's nice to see their faces even though you're not physically able to see them."