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Skinner, Girgensons Enter COVID Protocol

Two more Sabres enter COVID protocol & more updates.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres are now on holiday break, after the team cancelled its Tuesday morning practice and announced two additional NHL players had entered the league’s COVID protocols.

Forwards Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons join Vinnie Hinostroza in protocol, GM Kevyn Adams announced at a Tuesday media call. Per Adams, Girgensons is experiencing symptoms, while Skinner and Hinostroza remain asymptomatic at this time.

In addition, there is one unnamed Rochester Americans player who has tested positive. The Amerks, who practiced Tuesday, are now on holiday break after their scheduled game Wednesday night was postponed due to COVID issues with their opponent, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

In other news:

  • Craig Anderson, who remains month-to-month, recently returned to practices with the team. It’s clear based on what we’ve heard that he provides some veteran leadership and an important presence with the rest of the players, so it’s nice to hear that he’s back around.
  • Dustin Tokarski is back in Buffalo and has skated, but has not practiced with the team.
  • Tage Thompson may or may not have been in the lineup for the Sabres if they’d played as scheduled on Monday, as he was being investigated for some soreness. Adams reported that he had an MRI which showed his injury is not serious; it’s likely this extra time off will give him some time to heal whatever’s ailing him, so fingers crossed he’ll be good to go when the team gets back in action.

As things currently stand, the Sabres (and NHL as a whole) can return to practices on December 26th after 2 p.m. Buffalo hosts the New York Islanders on Monday, December 27. The Amerks are off on their break for a few days & scheduled to host Utica on December 27.