NHL says Golden Knights’ Nosek was removed from game after positive COVID-19 test

When Vegas Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek was removed from Tuesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks there was concern that it was a COVID-19 related issue.

That concern only grew when post-game media availability was abruptly canceled due to “COVID-19 protocols.”

On Wednesday, the NHL confirmed that Nosek had returned a positive test during the game and that was the reason he was immediately removed. This is the first time this season a player has been removed during a game for a positive test.

The statement from the NHL reads, in part:

The National Hockey League announced today that, immediately upon notification that one of its Players had returned a positive test for COVID-19, Vegas Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek was removed from Tuesday night’s game vs. Anaheim, in precise accordance with the terms of the League’s COVID Protocol.  Nosek was immediately isolated from his teammates and close contact tracing was begun, also in accordance with the Protocol.

Golden Knights practice was canceled on Wednesday.

The two teams are still scheduled to play on Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET, and according to the league that game as of now is still scheduled.

[Related: NHL changes in-arena protocols]

The NHL adds in its statement on Wednesday that rapid PCR tests, in addition to the lab-based PCR testing, will be administered to all players and staff ahead of the game and that “any decision regarding potential postponement will be made by the League’s, NHLPA’s and Clubs’ medical officials, following all COVID Protocols and local and federal regulations.”

Vegas has already had several games postponed and rescheduled this season due to COVID issues, going from January 26 to February 5 without playing.

There have been 34 postponed games across the league this season.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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