Reading, MA — In their ongoing effort to keep players and media connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Bruins held another Zoom Meeting for members of the press on Monday. This time defenseman Brandon Carlo was made available from his home in Denver, CO.

The 23-year-old Carlo held court for just over 15 minutes. Carlo spoke about his recovery from injury, his faith, his relationship with fellow blueliner Torey Krug, and how he has been spending his time away from the NHL. 

“I would say that I’d be cleared now,” said the 6’-5” Carlo, who missed two games after taking an elbow to the head in Florida on March 6, 2020. “I started to feel very good on the ice and off the ice. I took the time to recover from that. I wouldn’t say it was that high-grade of a concussion, just got a little bit dazed and confused there but for now I feel very good. I’m at 100 percent.”

Carlo also expressed his sympathy for the family of recently deceased Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave. Cave passed away on Saturday after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, he was only 25-years-old. The two players spent time together coming up through the Bruins system in  Providence. 

“There’s been a lot of questions during this time, it’s obviously been a troubling time in a lot of different ways, not just the pandemic but through the Colby Cave situation which has been quite devastating to a lot of us,” said Carlo of his former teammate’s untimely passing. “I’d like to just say first and foremost, I’m wishing his family the best during this tragic time.”

“He (Cave) was one of the guys when I first started coming to development camps that I looked up to. He just had that leadership aspect and that contagious smile that made me feel comfortable around the rink from day one. He will be missed a lot. I just want to give my best to Emily (Cave’s wife) and the Cave family.”

Carlo credits his faith for helping him through these trying times of uncertainty. 

“Throughout this pandemic, it’s been interesting to have the time to take a step back and recognize things with faith. To a point, I feel that God may be telling us to slow down a little in life.”

Carlo showed off the tattoo on his right forearm which read “Live by faith, not by sight,” adding that is how he tries to live his life on a daily basis. 

“I’m trying to piece together a home gym back in my garage here,” said Carlo about his training while the NHL is on hiatus. “I think everybody kind of had the same mindset to buy fitness equipment during this time so stuff is taking a while to get here but it’s finally coming along to the point where I’m getting some good workouts now.”

“Our training staff has done a great job of sending us some stuff for body-weight workouts and then adjusting as you go along with the more equipment we’ve been able to get,” added Carlo. “I feel good in that regard, of being strong and as prepared as I can be in this time. It’s definitely difficult to not be on the ice. There’s no conditioning that I’ve been able to simulate to being on the ice. That will be a whole other step that we’ll have to take when hopefully the season resumes.”

The third-year defenseman was asked about the future of his defensive partner Torey Krug, a free agent at the end of the season, and what life as a Bruin is like with Krug.

“My first year I played with Zee (Bruins captain Zdeno Chara) and grew a lot in different aspects of the game,” said Carlo. “Ever since I’ve been with Torey I feel like my game has just continued to flourish and a lot of that is a credit to him. He gives me the confidence to be my best that I can be. Playing with him has been a lot of fun, I tell him all the time how much I enjoy it.”

“For me, I love playing with him. I don’t want to lose him,” continued Carlo. “I’ve made jokes throughout the entire year that he better not leave me. I recognize that this game has a lot of uncertainty with contract situations, but overall I have the faith that he’s an important piece to Boston and if it’s meant to be and it’s in his path then God will handle it.”

Carlo has been in contact with teammates through their faith-based endeavors, as well as being the team’s player representative for the NHL Player’s union. He spoke with Chara over the phone recently. 

“Zee called me the other day, we had a good conversation,” said Carlo. The Bruins captain has been mentioned by both Krug and Carlo for reaching out to them during the break. “It’s an interesting circumstance (the NHL shutdown). I think throughout each season he’s reached out to me at some point during the season and the off-season. He does a good job of giving you your space as well. During the off-season, you’re kind of getting away from the game a little bit. These circumstances are a lot different. Then during the season when you’re around him all the time that’s when his true leadership skills come out. Especially during the games and during the practices. We’re very blessed to have him as a leader and continue to learn from him but at the same time it was nice to hear from him, more from a friend standpoint, not just a teammate standpoint.”

Carlo is optimistic that the 2019-20 season will conclude with a Stanley Cup Champion being crowned.

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NCAA Men's Ice Hockey reporter and part-time NHL Boston Bruins coverage.

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