The Vegas Golden Knights played Tuesday’s contest against the St. Louis Blues without any regular coaches behind the bench. General manager Kelly McCrimmon filled in, along with the coaching staff from the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights.
What we know is that at least one of Vegas’ coaches tested positive for COVID-19, which caused the organization to isolate the entire coaching staff out of an abundance of caution.
After Tuesday’s game, the franchise announced it was closing its facilities Wednesday.
“It’s not a case where the entire staff tested positive,” said McCrimmon. “Most didn’t, frankly…We’re fortunate there’s been no positive tests for players.”
The Golden Knights didn’t know about any coaching changes until they arrived at T-Mobile Arena for Tuesday’s game.
The coaching staff is comprised of head coach Peter DeBoer, assistants Steve Spott, Ryan Craig, and Ryan McGill, and goaltending coach Mike Rosati. Joining McCrimmon Tuesday was head coach Manny Viveiros, assistants Jamie Heward, and Joel Ward from the Silver Knights.
“It was news to us when we arrived,” said Vegas defenceman Alex Pietrangelo. “Crimmer’s coached before, we had the (coaches) from Henderson come up, they know what they’re doing, too. So we didn’t know what the plan was originally, but it worked out fine.”
Vegas lost to the Blues by a final score of 5-4 in the shootout, by the way.
The next step is to figure out exactly what the NHL protocols have to say and follow all directives. The staff may have to only isolate for one game, but that remains to be seen. Vegas’ next game is Thursday at home against the Blues again, then they’ll head to Arizona to play the relocated San Jose Sharks.
COVID-19 has also impacted the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes so far this season. Both teams saw the postponement of games after positive tests among players.
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