If the past few days have shown anything, the National Hockey League may be forced to take serious action soon when it comes to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Things were okay for a while, but over the last few days, the league has seen more and more players entering COVID protocol. This is something that can quickly spiral out of control, and if the NHL is smart, they’ll handle it the right way & stop it before it spreads any further.
Right now, the Calgary Flames are the most-affected team. The Flames smartly backed out of traveling to Chicago ahead of what was a scheduled game on Monday. A short time later, their games were postponed for the next few days; six players entered protocol, along with a member of the team’s training staff.
On Tuesday morning, three additional Flames players entered protocol. The list - for now - includes: Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, Noah Hanifin, Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan.
But the Flames aren’t the only ones.
Boston’s Brad Marchand has entered protocol, and it’s possible more Bruins could, after Boston played Calgary just a few days ago.
Hurricanes players Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis, along with a member of their training staff, have entered protocol.
Carolina played Vancouver on Sunday. Now, reports from Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal indicate that one Canucks player tested positive on Monday evening. Some players and coaches hit the ice for morning skate, but left shortly thereafter as it appears the skate was cancelled. (More to come, perhaps?)
(Aho, Jarvis and the training staff member remain in Vancouver.)
Colorado’s Devon Toews has also entered protocol, along with New York’s Mat Barzal.
Luckily, the Buffalo Sabres have been minimally impacted. Dustin Tokarski just returned to Buffalo after a quarantine in Florida. Amerks coaches Seth Appert & Mike Weber are back with the team after time away.
And those are just what we know about right now. This is quickly becoming a serious problem, and teams and the NHL must take action to avoid things spreading further and further.
Might we see another shutdown in the near future? What other options does the NHL have at this point?