Brady Tkachuk is back at his family’s home in St. Louis during the pause in the NHL schedule, working hard to stay in shape and hopeful to be back at the Canadian Tire Centre to finish the season.

While the novel coronavirus has hit close to home for the Ottawa Senators winger with two of his teammates testing positive for COVID-19, Tkachuk told a video conference call organized by the league and the players association Monday afternoon he’s been in touch with both players and they’re recovering.

“Those guys are doing well,” said Tkachuk. “We’re a tight group so we’re always in contact with one another but I think all of us are just concerned about them and everybody impacted by it.”

When the league told players they could return to their respective homes on March 16, Tkachuk decided it was best for him to return his parents in St. Louis during the pause. Not only is he spending time with father Keith and mother Chantal, brother Matthew, a forward with the Calgary Flames, and sister Taryn, an accomplished field hockey player, are also back home.

Tkachuk, who was accompanied by Boston captain Zdeno Chara, Toronto captain John Tavares and Detroit’s Dylan Larkin on the 40-minute call, has cherished this time with family and has tried to make the most of it since the schedule was suspended March 12.

“It’s a pretty crazy thing going on in this whole world and just being able to spend time with family and hang out … you don’t get this kind of opportunity to hang out with your family and be together for this time.,” said Tkachuk. “It’s been good but I think we’re all just concerned for everybody who has been impacted.”

However, having Matthew and Taryn around has helped to keep the competitive juices flowing while trying to stay in shape for the return of the season and they were all home for Keith’s 48th birthday party Saturday which was a quiet celebration by going for a family “walk with some cake.”

“Matthew has been here so I’ve been keeping busy with him and my younger sister,” Tkachuk said. “We’ve got the peloton downstairs that we’ve been going on and we’ve just been trying to keep active with basketball and stuff like that. It gets fiery. It’s been good.

“It’s stuff that we’re not used too but we’re trying to make the most of it in this situation and we’re just trying to stay active as much as we can.”

The call with the players wasn’t all serious.