For Winnipeg Jets forwards Mark Schiefele and Andrew Copp, Saturday mornings/afternoons tend to be very high energy and filled with testosterone. And no, it has nothing to do with the Winnipeg Jets.
The two players live together during the NHL season, and each have their own routines. Lots of time is spent together, while portions of each day belongs to individual set practices and training regimens. Between game-day skates, team practices, meetings, video sessions, travel and home games, Scheifele and Copp still find some time for arguments while staying on the down-low back home.
With the NHL currently on hiatus, both Scheifele and Copp have returned to their families, with the Jets’ top centreman back home in Ontario, while Copp has joined his family down in Florida for “the longest vacation” of his life. Copp, 25, checked in with reporters on the weekly ‘Zoom’ call.
Copp – whose brother attends college seven hours north in Georgia – has been golfing, fishing, playing tennis, reading and enjoying poolside sun along with his parents and brother during this pause. Staying informed on the daily news breaks is something Copp has thoroughly enjoyed.
“We have the news on here every day, and we’re trying to stay as informed and knowledgeable as possible,” Copp said. “But it’s going to be such a slow process. It’s going to be easing in, almost by trial and error because you just don’t want that second wave to get really, really bad… I’ve been looking at some studies that have been going on, especially in southern California. I’ve been looking at the politics behind everything. I’ve just been more keeping up in that aspect, trying to stay as up to date as possible with all that stuff.”
Although keeping his focus on politics, Copp is well-versed in the field of sports, particularly football – a sport he played at a high level before turning his full attention to hockey. As a New England, errr, Tom Brady fan, Copp indicated his changing of allegiances as the news of Brady and Rob Gronkowski’s reunion in Tampa Bay for 2020-21 became official.
“I am Tampa Bay’s biggest fan right now,” Copp said. “I’m jumping ship. There’s a lot of things that go on behind the scenes with every player and the organization. It just seems like it was time for them to go their separate ways. Obviously, he’s found a spot that has some weapons, the defence is up and coming, they’re young. Arians is well-known as such a great offensive-minded coach. I think it could be a really good fit. It should make for an exciting NFC South division. It could be a really good division to watch football.”
Turning his attention to the NFL Draft on Thursday evening, Copp indicated his preference if he were to make the first overall selection, saying he would for sure take Joe Burrow at number one if he were the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Burrow’s got to go 1. He’s the clear-cut No. 1 guy now,” he said.
But when choosing between the second and third-ranked pigskin hurlers, Copp broke down the play of each quite thoroughly.
“Personally, I’d choose Tua (Tagovailoa),” he said. “I think he’s probably smarter and he’s played better in bigger games than Herbert. With that said, though, health is a concern for Tua and I don’t really completely understand the Wonderlic scores, but he had a pretty low Wonderlic score. I don’t really know what that means to me, but I’m pretty sure franchises don’t like that. I do, however, hope the Dolphins trade up to No. 3 and get Detroit’s pick so we can take all the rest of their first-rounders”
On the topic of football, Copp also responded to an earlier retort from roommate Scheifele (on his own Zoom call), who had indicated that on Saturdays, the fifth-year Jet would be “allowed” use of the television remote.
“It’s ridiculous,” Copp laughed. “Lord Scheifele, he gives his servants crumbs on one day a week to handle the TV. That was a joke. I’m gonna talk to him about that. I’m gonna call him later today.”
“I feel like it’s pretty even,” Copp added further. “Saturday, I for sure get the remote. We both want to watch the NFL on Sunday. Then there’s Monday Night Football. And Thursday Night Football. I taught him everything he knows about football. I’m down with putting a hockey game on at any time. So it’s not like he’s the master of the remote control and just delegates on Saturdays.”
With the potential continuation of the current NHL season still up for debate, Copp knows the possibility of a return is there, but the way that things return would be far from normal.
“Everyone is just hoping for the best and hoping for as normal of a return as possible,” he said. “I think we know there’s a chance it’s not exactly as clean cut as going back to Winnipeg and getting on a plane going to Calgary. It could be a little more complicated than that. Just hope that things subside nicely over the next little bit and the curve gets flattened. The thing with the flattening of the curve though just means it’s getting extended. It’s not really about how many people are getting it overall, it’s just about how many people are getting it at one time. That’s the worry. Just hoping we can find a way to play whether it’s with fans, without fans. Just trying to find a way to finish the season and play out the playoffs.”