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Hinostroza in COVID Protocol; Could League Shutdown Be Looming?

Sabres forward enters COVID protocol.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres forward Vinnie Hinostroza has entered the NHL’s COVID protocols, the team announced on Monday evening. Earlier in the day, the scheduled game between the Sabres and the Blue Jackets for Money evening was postponed, along with the teams’ other meeting later this week.

The Sabres have been pretty fortunate up until this point, with only goaltender Dustin Tokarski recently in protocol. Unfortunately, they’re now at least the 21st team to have a player enter protocol in the last seven days.

Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of NHL players who have been placed in the league’s COVID protocol in the last week. Note: this situation is constantly changing, and it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed one or two players — or even that more are added as I write this.

December 13: Lindholm, Mangiapane, Richardson, Ruzicka, Tanev, Zadorov, Aho, Jarvis

December 14: McLeod, Schenn, Lammikko, Marchand, Hanifin, Lucic, Monahan, Jordan Staal, Andrei Svechnikov, Cole, Lorentz, Barzel, Frost, Poolman, Smith, Devon Toews, Jaros

December 15: Andersson, Froese, Gaudreau, Gudbranson, Lewis, Markstrom, Pitlick, Fabbri, Rasmussen, Bergeron, Granlund, Johansen, Luff, McCarron, Tomasina, Harpur, Bennett, Godas, Lomberg, Montour, Verhaeghe, Kuznetsov

December 16: Ekblad, Vatrano, Doughty, Blidh, Frederic, Swagman, Dube, Kylington, Crouse, Beagle, Shore, Cousins, Burakovsky, Compher, Makar, Kuemper, Steen, Boqvist

December 17: Nugent-Hopkins, Backlund, Galchenyuk, Keith, Borowiecki, Kerfoot, Tavares, Spezza, Simmonds, Motte, Backstrom

December 18: Hall, Lazar, Smith, Rowney, Nedeljkovic, Zadina, Puljujarvi, Petersen, Lehkonen, Willman, Oleksiak, Sundqvist, Campbell, Brodie, Dermott, Myers

December 19: Jenner, Roslovic, Carlsson, Gagner, Suter, Veleno, Danault, Dauphin, Soucy, Oshie, Noesen

December 20: Brendon Smith, Hayes, Burns (effective 12/17, announced 12/20), Nurse, Lagesson, Hinostroza

Now, with the most recent postponement of tomorrow’s Arizona vs. Seattle game, Frank Seravalli reports that there has been conversation about a possible league-wide shutdown:

It’s also anticipated that an announcement will come in the next few days from the NHL and NHLPA regarding player participation in the Beijing Olympics.

More to come... soon.