LOS ANGELES -- It started when Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf mentioned his chicken coop.
After that, the conversation during a 30-minute video conference call with Getzlaf, Kings captain Anze Kopitar, San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture and Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury went all over the place.
There was talk of book clubs and beach excursions, home gyms and home schooling kids. The players swapped stories of fatherhood and family life, the sole focus for each ever since the NHL's season was suspended more than two weeks ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like longtime friends reuniting over a summer campfire, they didn't have to be teammates to enjoy one another's company. Even in a video chat, during which they answered presubmitted questions from reporters, the group re-created the type of camaraderie made suddenly less common during this health crisis.
Getzlaf's poultry plan produced the most pertinent example.
The chicken coop idea originated several days earlier when Getzlaf's family ran out of eggs. Rather than a trip to the store, they borrowed fresh-laid eggs from a neighbor in their Orange County community who had a backyard hen house of their own. Instantly inspired, Getzlaf went to work on building one on his property.
Three days in, he already has a wooden frame in place and plenty more planks of wood stacked in his backyard. When Getzlaf showed it off during the call Friday, the others couldn't help but crack a smile.
"Impressive," Couture said.
"That's good," echoed Fleury.
"A coop-and-a-half!" added Kopitar, laughing the hardest at his Southland counterpart.