While COVID looms as an ominous threat to NHL players participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics, the more immediate news has been troubling, too. The list of NHL players in COVID protocol is growing, including Bruins forward Brad Marchand and Islanders center Mathew Barzal. The NHL also postponed Tuesday’s game between the Hurricanes and Wild.
This post rounds up the latest COVID-related NHL news.
Unfortunately, this is an ongoing matter; Daily Faceoff’s Frank Servalli reports that the Predators could be dealing with “a handful” of players who tested positive for COVID-19, for instance. (The Athletic’s Adam Vingan noted that Ryan Johansen entered the NHL COVID protocol on Sunday.)
Could there be more postponements? At the moment, the Canucks seemingly plan to face the Blue Jackets on Tuesday:
“There wasn’t a comfort level this morning,” Rutherford says in regards to the #Canucks’ decision to cancel morning skate today.
Says players are prepared to play the game this evening.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) December 14, 2021
Hurricanes – Wild Tuesday game postponed due to COVID
With “four additional” Hurricanes players entering COVID protocol, the NHL made the call to postpone Tuesday’s game between the ‘Canes and Wild.
Hurricanes PR clarified the four players, who will remain in Minnesota, as:
While those four Hurricanes remain in Minnesota, Seth Jarvis, Sebastian Aho, and a member of the team’s training staff are under quarantine in Vancouver. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan shared a heartbreaking detail about what’s been a difficult experience for Carolina.
Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis & a team trainer are stuck isolating in Vancouver for 14 days. The Canucks lent them exercise equipment for their rooms
Canes looking into getting them a medical flight out back to U.S. The trainer is a new dad & would miss his first Xmas w/ his infant
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) December 14, 2021
North State Journal’s Cory Lavalette reports that the Hurricanes’ next two games (home against the Red Wings on Thursday; Saturday in Los Angeles vs. the Kings) are “very much in jeopardy” of being postponed, as well.
As we’ll note in the next section, three Flames games were postponed on Monday. Earlier this season, three Senators games and two Islanders games were called off in November after the virus affected both teams.
More Flames in COVID protocol
On Monday, the NHL postponed three Flames games (through at least Dec. 16) due to COVID protocol. At that point, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov were Flames players added to the NHL COVID protocol list.
It remains to be seen if the Flames will be able to play by their next scheduled game (Saturday, Dec. 18 against the Blue Jackets in Calgary).
Barzal (Islanders), Marchand (Bruins), Toews (Avalanche) among NHL players in COVID protocol
As of this writing, here are other NHL players in COVID protocol:
- The Bruins confirmed that Brad Marchand entered NHL COVID protocol on Tuesday, joining Craig Smith. NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin notes that Marchand participated in Tuesday’s morning skate.
- Before Tuesday’s game, the Islanders confirmed that Mathew Barzal entered protocol. Again, in November, the NHL postponed two Islanders games after eight players entered COVID protocol.
- The Avalanche announced that Devon Toews entered protocol, while they recalled Justin Barron.
- The Panthers noted that Ryan Lomberg won’t play on Tuesday as he’s in protocol.