The Pittsburgh Penguins held their media interviews following Tuesday’s morning skate in New Jersey in a designated impromptu press conference setting. It represented a change because of instructions related to the Coronavirus scare.
Several pro leagues have joined in closing locker rooms and clubhouses to all but athletes and essential team personnel. That’s just one small aspect of a global reaction to the virus, which has been spreading throughout the world and in some cases has been deadly.
The Penguins reacted to the circumstances, promising compliance.
Coach Mike Sullivan:
“It is what it is. It’s something that is completely out of our control. We’re taking the direction of the league and the CDC, and we trust that they’re going to advise us the right way, and we’ll cooperate in that regard.
“I know our doctors have been in constant contact with the infectious disease people with UPMC in trying to strategize and make sure we do everything internally that we can to do our best to do the right thing. And that’s all we can do.
“Everybody watches the news and reads the newspapers and understands that this is something that’s a global challenge. And so this isn’t just affecting our small domain in pro sports. This is affecting the entire globe. As I said, all we can do is focus on those things that we can control. We will follow the direction of the league and the CDC and listen to our doctors as well. We’ll cooperate with those guys. We trust that they’ll do the right thing for us.”
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby:
“It is what it is. Everyone’s got everyone’s health in their best interest, and everyone’s just trying to do the right thing to make sure everyone is as safe as possible. Whatever steps need to be taken, there are people in that position making those decisions. I think you have to trust what they’re saying.”
Crosby, on what he learned after contracting the mumps during an NHL outbreak in 2014:
“That’s probably the best advice I can give you – don’t get them. It’s just something you have to deal with. It’s not always expected, but sometimes these things come up. You hope everyone can stay healthy and avoid it. There are measures that have to be taken sometimes. You just have to go with it. You can’t overthink it or overanalyze it. Just try to listen to everything that’s recommended and go from there.”
Winger Brandon Tanev:
“Obviously, there’s a safety factor. The leagues are trying to keep players and everybody involved safe.
Winger Conor Sheary on what they have been instructed to do in their everyday lives:
“Not much. We heard to wash our hands often. I think that’s common sense at this point.”
Sheary on the virus:
“It’s a little scary. It seems like it’s inching closer to affecting more people around here, but I think people are taking the right steps and you’re getting the right information from the right people. Hopefully, if everyone together uses that to their advantage, I think maybe we’ll be all right.”