• Jenn Connor

Staying Connected With Toronto Marlies Forward Kenny Agostino

Kenny Agostino led the Toronto Marlies in scoring before the AHL season was suspended.

In the past, sports have always served as a welcome escape in times of crisis. This time, of course, is different. We are firmly in the grasp of a health crisis brought on by COVID-19, a devastating virus the likes of which has not been seen in over a century. While we all miss watching our favourite teams, players also miss bringing that excitement to us.

In the spirit of social distancing, I recently had the opportunity to chat online with Toronto Marlies forward Kenny Agostino. A graduate of Yale University​, Agostino was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry draft. He was part of the deal that brought Calgary Flames all-star forward Jarome Iginla to the Penguins and made his debut with the Flames in the 2013-2014 season. Signed as a free agent by the St. Louis Blues in 2016, Agostino was named the AHL’s Most Valuable Player​, leading the league in scoring with 24 goals and 83 points while playing with the Blues’ affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. He spent the 2018-2019 season with Montreal, playing 36 games for the Habs scoring 11 points. Agostino was signed as a free agent by the Leafs this season and at the time of the suspension in play was leading the Marlies​ in scoring with 49 points including a career best 27 goals.

A native of Flanders, New Jersey, Agostino shared his thoughts on how he is spending his time away from the ice and dealing with these challenging circumstances.

Obviously this is a horrible thing we’re all going through with COVID-19. How are you and your family coping and how are you passing the time?

Obviously this is a tough time for everyone. I’m still here in Toronto. My family is back home in New Jersey and New York City and everyone is staying safe thankfully. I’ve been trying to keep busy. I’ve been facetiming with my friends and family and watching a whole lot of Netflix.

What are some of your favourite series or movies to watch on Netflix?

I just finished the new season of Ozark. The Office is my go to when I don’t know what to watch!

You’ve been an AHL MVP recently and having a great first year with the Marlies. What are your thoughts on your season leading up to the AHL suspension both on a personal level and how the team has played so far?

It’s hard to sum up the season with the uncertainty of if we’re going to finish or not. But I’ve really enjoyed my first year playing in Toronto and with the guys on our team.

How are you staying physically fit during the suspension?

The team has done a great job providing us with at home workouts to stay in shape during the suspension.

Any thoughts on when you think the season will resume?

It’s hard to have any thoughts on when or if the season will resume with so much uncertainty.

Are you keeping in touch with your teammates and if so, how? Many players are into video games. Are you also into esports?

I’ve definitely kept in touch with my teammates through text and Facetime, which has been nice to check in with the guys and stay connected. I’m not much of a gamer though so haven’t been connecting with them through that really.

How are you liking Toronto and what are some of your favourite spots to hangout? (Once social distancing has come to an end)

I’ve really enjoyed living in Toronto. There are so many great restaurants downtown. I’m a big sushi guy so probably my favourite restaurant I would go to a lot is Miku.

Other than hockey, what sports do you follow?

Other than hockey, I love watching most other sports. I’m a big golfer so the suspension of The Masters is pretty devastating.

As we try to get through this crisis, do you have anything you’d like to share with Toronto hockey fans and people generally?

I hope everyone is staying safe and understand we’re all going through this together. Hopefully this is all over soon.

Despite the obvious concern for his family and friends back in New Jersey, Kenny Agostino was more than willing to express how much he is enjoying the city of Toronto, his teammates, and the Leafs organization. If we allow ourselves to flash forward to the return of hockey and happier times, Kenny Agostino could prove to be an important piece of the Leafs puzzle going forward, bringing his solid playmaking skills to the Leafs’ potent attack.

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