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WATCH: Preds’ Bonino stresses safety first in NHL return

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It’s been 50 days since the country decided to shutdown sports and while many professional athletes are anxious to get back to work, players like Nashville Predators’ Nick Bonino are airing on the side of precaution.

“It’s tough to think about when it will be safe for us to play and that’s why it’s been tough for the players association and NHL when it comes to making a decision,” said Bonino.

Bonino was the first professional athlete in Nashville to come out with a statement concerning the seriousness of COVID-19. Back on March 15th, he wrote on Twitter that people should “lets flatten the curve, and just stay home.”

On Wednesday, Bonino told reporters in a Zoom call that he felt that statement needed to be made after seeing several photos of people crowding together at bars on Broadway.

“I hadn’t seen anyone share that message from the NHL yet and so I decided to do it. It made me feel better, just to have my thoughts out,” added Bonino.

The NHL has set no timeline as to when the season will return but the league did announce that Phase 2 of transitioning back could possibly come in the new two to three weeks, as conditions “continue to trend favorably.”

Bonino added, “No one wants to play hockey more than us, we love it, it’s our lives, but the health of us and our families comes first. That’s the way it has to be regardless of money and timelines.”

The NHL veteran said that his mindset these days, is taking things week by week. Bonino said that sometimes he watches the news to stay updated on developments, but doesn’t let himself get too wrapped up it. He is also taking every precaution necessary right now, avoiding even the grocery store, ordering food online and having it delivered.