Sidney Crosby added to COVID protocol list, won’t play vs. Flyers

[UPDATE: The Penguins were 5-2 winners without their captain.]

The Penguins announced that Sidney Crosby will be added to the NHL’s COVID protocol list, and won’t play against the Flyers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Mike Sullivan also notes that the team canceled their Tuesday morning skate due to COVID protocols.

While Crosby was placed on the COVID protocol list, it’s not a guarantee that he tested positive.

From the NHL:

“COVID Protocol Related Absences” can be the result of a number of factors including, among others: (1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact in accordance with the Positive Test Protocol; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 Protocol.

Along with Tuesday’s game, the Penguins are also currently scheduled to face the Flyers on Thursday and Saturday. From there, the Penguins face the Rangers on Sunday and Tuesday (March 9).

It’s not immediately clear if Crosby will miss more games. Teams are not required to say exactly how long a player on the COVID list might be out.

As of Monday, there were four players on the NHL COVID protocol list: John Hayden (Coyotes), Patrik Nemeth (Red Wings), Kaapo Kakko (Rangers) and Tomas Hertl (Sharks).

We’ve seen other prominent NHL players reach the COVID protocol list, whether they tested positive or not. Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid rank among the most noteworthy, and now Sidney Crosby is included in that group.

Again, the specifics regarding Crosby landing on the COVID protocol list are not yet clear, though.

Reminders of NHL COVID protocol after Crosby lands on list

Back in December, the NHL detailed the procedure for players who tested positive for COVID — from those who are symptomatic to those who are asymptomatic. Here’s how that procedure would work out.

• For symptomatic players that test positive. From the league protocol:

A positive test of an individual who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be subject to further confirmatory testing under this Protocol. Such individual’s COVID-19 positive status will be considered confirmed if, in the opinion of the treating physician(s), there is no basis to doubt the individual’s COVID-19 positive status. These individuals shall be required to isolate until medical clearance is obtained. The Club Physician shall immediately coordinate contact tracing with their infectious disease consultant and local health authority

And the protocol for symptomatic players that test negative.

Individuals who develop infectious respiratory symptoms, but who test negative for COVID-19, shall have their clinical care and clearance managed by the Club Physician in consultation with the Club’s infectious disease expert, and they shall continue to be monitored with daily PCR testing

• For asymptomatic players that have an initial positive test the following procedure will be followed.

  • Following the initial positive, the player will be isolated and contact tracing will begin.
  • A confirmatory test will be conducted 24 hours later. If that test is negative, a second test will be conducted 24 hours after that. If that second test is negative, a third confirmatory test will be conducted 24 hours after that. If any of those tests come back positive the player will remain isolated and contact tracing will continue.
  • If all three confirmatory tests come back negative the player will be allowed to exit isolation, resume training, while the contacts will also be released from isolation.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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