“We've already tried it. Ethyl methane sulfonate is an alkylating agent and a potent mutagen….the newly formed DNA strand carries a mutation and you've got a virus again. But this - all of this is academic.”
The words above are not from Dr. Fauci or Dr. Birx, but a quote from the movie Blade Runner. It is offered here merely as a bridge to link the title of this article over a stream of consciousness, to the some of the off season workouts by our amazing rookie #5 Haley Payne. Come to find out, Haley likes to roller blade and enjoys running, hence Blade Runner. More on that and more in a bit. But after some early postseason adventures, when we caught up with Haley, we discovered she was back in Braintree, Massachusetts. And the pandemic was in fact, the first thing we discussed. We asked how and where she was dealing with our new normal, and Haley told us she was
“Pretty bored, but that’s alright! So I am actually at home right now with my family. I came back actually, from Ireland, and I’ve been back about a month now. It is stressful, it’s a scary time, but being home is definitely helping. Just kind of relaxing, definitely sleeping in, catching some rest. Lots of movies, lots of puzzles, lots of family dinners. My brother’s a really good cook, so we’ve been eating pretty well, I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing.:) Getting some exercise in when the weather clears up. All the parks are closed down, and all the basketball courts, and at the schools all the fences are closed. I actually live right near my high school, and the track’s closed so you can’t even go up and walk around. It’s crazy.”
Coming off her rookie season, this is Haley’s first offseason as a pro, and it’s atypical, to say the least. So Cetacean Nation wanted to know what a normal off season usually looked like for her. She explained
“I go to a local gym right near my house, I usually do that mornings in the summer at least three or four days a week. But definitely get it over in the morning, just get up and go. And running, I actually like running.(there’s the running part) I played lacrosse, so I’m a big runner, especially in the summer I love to run. So I try to do that two days a week, put some cardio in there and kind of spread it out. When I was in college, my first offseason I kind of just followed the summer packet that our trainer actually sent us, so I kind of stuck with that all throughout the four years.And it did become a little hard because I go to a public gym and I didn’t have a trainer at the time. So they didn’t have many of the types of equipment I needed, so I had to switch some exercises out for other ones, figure that all out. It worked, but everyone is a little out of shape going back to school when the season starts, but it definitely helps, getting out to run and work out like that, Especially for hockey players, if you played a running sport, you like to run. But if hockey was kind of your primary sport, a lot of hockey players I know despise running, cardio’s not what they want to be doing at all! :)
Haley added “Like everyone says, it’s tough to get ice in the summer, even to the the point where you need to be conditioning on the ice. I know you can rent ice, and just kind of play little pick-up games with your friends. I probably looked at the end of July, beginning of August to get back on the ice, and try to do it twice a week. But it it’s hard to get ice to rent around here, unless you know someone and they just kind of let you use the rink. So that was kind of my technique in the summer. But I would say again, end of July beginning of August, a good month before hockey started, because in college I think the end of September was when we started to get on the ice for hockey practice. I rollerbladed (there’s the blade part) a lot, I used that as kind of a substitute. Rollerblading is as close to skating as you can get without going to the rink."
We wondered if Haley had played any roller hockey and she replied "No, I haven’t. I actually hadn’t really heard of that, until I met some of the girls on the Whale, and they said that they played roller hockey., or ball hockey. I’d actually never heard of it, these don’t really have leagues around here like that for us. I know my two friends, they live in Michigan and Georgia, and it’s big there. They have a lot of indoor floor hockey and stuff like that. But I really had no idea, because there is not much around here". We also discussed with Haley the remaining NHL or NBA seasons and asked if trying to have a more normal 2020-2021 is more important than salvaging the interrupted season. She replied "I think it should definitely just be normalizing the season that comes after that. I think jumping into anything too quickly, with everything going on, is crazy. The news that I’ve been watching is saying slowly come back, and kind of put players and put teams ranked as we left it, But I don’t think they should rush anything, and they should kind of just go off what’s going to be in the upcoming season. I think they should just hold off, and then a fresh start. It stinks, but then everyone’s season ended that way everywhere, in every kind of league."
We also wondered if Haley was able to do any coaching, or clinics this season or if she has plans to? She explained
" So, during the season I was actually helping out Laura (Assistant Coach Laura Brennan) a couple times in Fairfield with the little kids skating. When I signed with the ream I was actually looking to coach a youth team in Connecticut, because I think,it would definitely help pass time, and it helps in terms of money. I’ve always babysat in the past, I just love hanging out with kids, being their mentor, so I definitely have done that. And when I graduated college, I was living back home, and looking to coach a local high school team near me. So coaching had been in my plans and still is now, I’m actually kind of looking around here to coach next season".
Cetacean Nation also offered Haley our congratulations on winning the Twitter handle (@houseofpayne23) championship, in a really fun competition put together by Dan Rice. Haley laughed and told us
"I was like talking to people I never met before and telling them: Go vote for me! There were so many votes on it, it was going up and down for the longest time. It was good competition, her’s was funny too. It was very clever. It was funny to see three Whale players who actually made it into the second or third round (#94 Grace Klienbach @tweeterlessG & #33 Cassie “Casper” Goyette @TFriendlyGoalie) Haley explained that Cassie was called Casper by her teammates, and told us “Yeah, that’s what we call her. I didn’t understand if Casper the Friendly Goalie meant something, so I actually looked it up: What is Casper the Friendly Goalie? Maybe, it’s Casper the Friendly Ghost, maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be! That would make sense! "
Haley had mentioned she had recently returned from Ireland, and we asked her about that trip. She exclaimed
"Oh, Ireland! My whole family has been before. My family went a year or two ago, and then my brother and Dad went together for a little bonding trip, it was my first time, Ingwe went to go visit my friend that plays professional basketball up there at University of Dublin. So we were supposed to be there for about a week and a half, but it got cut short because we had to keep changing our flights. About the fourth day in, we were walking around and everything was closed, the place was a ghost town. I was like come on, the one time we come to Ireland, everything’s closed. My friend that plays basketball there, ended up going home, because her parents wanted her to come home. She’d also been there the whole school year, so they were like, just get home, better safe than sorry. But I was actually with my friend Olivia from Sacred Heart, so when everything closed in Dublin we got on the train to Galway and did an AirBNB, and we were very surprised that things were still open."
Haley continued "The restaurants were open, but then again there was no one walking the streets. So it was like: Oh, just a private tour of Ireland! And the last two days we were there we actually hired a driver, and he took us to the Cliffs of Moher. It was funny, we went to the Cliffs of Moher, and our tour guide was like this is crazy, take this in now, because usually there’s thousands and thousands of people here, and there were maybe ten people there, and we were two of them. It was completely empty, It was beautiful. So I guess it was a good thing that things were closed, because we ventured out saw some of the countryside of Ireland. It rained like everyday we were there. I actually preferred the countryside, I thought it was beautiful. I have family, cousins that live in Kerry, so they live right in the Ring of Kerry. Everyone thought I lived there, they’re like where’s your accent? I’m like, no I’m not from here:)" Cetacean Nation asked what her favorite part of the trip was and Haley thought a moment and offered " I would say just how friendly everyone was. I think everywhere you went, everyone was just kind of ready to help you with anything.they were just so nice about everything, but that’s like coming from Boston where you’ve got a lot of attitude, a lot of personality. We are actually making plans to go back this summer, let’s hope everything goes back to normal by then. Probably go for a week or two"