From The Record’s Tom Gulitti, with a follow-up note to the big news of the day in New Jersey:
The Devils confirmed Monday that Elias and Havlat were undergoing tests for the illness, which has already infected teammates Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson.
Neither Elias nor Havlat will play Saturday in New York versus the Rangers.
More from the infamous mumps outbreak of ’14 — on Monday, the Devils confirmed that Martin Havlat and Patrik Elias are undergoing tests for the illness, which already infected teammates Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson.
Havlat played in Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Washington and was pretty ineffective in just over 14 minutes of ice time, finishing minus-1 with just one shot on goal. Elias played more (17:40) but finished minus-2 with no shots on goal (though he did miss the net three times).
Earlier today, the Penguins announced that three players — Thomas Greiss, Steve Downie and Brandon Sutter — had all been return to Pittsburgh to undergo testing for the mumps. The Penguins, who play in Florida tonight, have already seen captain Sidney Crosby, defenseman Olli Maatta and forward Beau Bennett get diagnosed with the mumps.
On Wednesday we learned that New Jersey’s Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson became the 10th and 11th players over five NHL teams to be diagnosed with the mumps. So far the Philadelphia Flyers have been one of the clubs spared by the outbreak, but they played New Jersey last night and battled another team that has dealt with the disease, the Anaheim Ducks, on Dec. 3.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall said his team is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of the virus, but that doesn’t change the fact that this remains a concern for the entire league.
“Absolutely,” Hextall said, per CSN Philly. “It’s been rampant around the league. And it’s not a one-day thing. I’ve talked to other managers, too, that it had gone through their team and their docs have told them that everybody on their team has been exposed to it, but only certain people are susceptible for whatever reason. We’ve talked long and hard about it. Talked to our medical staff numerous times and we’ve addressed it as best as we can.”
To attempt to provide some context, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that there were only 438 reported cases of the mumps over 39 states in 2013. That’s down from around 186,000 cases annually in the United States prior to the start of the vaccination program in 1967. The CDC also says that the vaccine is very effective, but doesn’t provide complete protection.