The National Hockey League has suspended all Montreal Canadiens games through March 28 due to two players entering health and safety protocols.
Montreal added Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list early Monday, at which point that night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was postponed. That marked the first North Division contest to be postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The decision to call it off was made less than an hour prior to puck drop.
Now, two additional games against Edmonton have been postponed along with one against the Ottawa Senators.
According to reports, Armia and Kotkaniemi were at the morning skate Monday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. By that afternoon, they were on the COVID-19 list.
On Tuesday morning, the Canadiens were given COVID-19 tests and only Armia and Kotkaniemi remain on the COVID-19 protocol list.
According to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, players can be put on the list for:
“(1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact in accordance with the Positive Test Protocol; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 Protocol.”
Montreal will be eligible to re-open its facilities on March 29, pending follow-up testing results.
The NHL has yet to say how the Habs will make up the four games. The club plays 16 games in April before ending the season in May following four games in eight days.
Ahead of the missed outings, the Canadiens are fourth in the North Division with a 14-8-9 record – two points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks and three behind the Winnipeg Jets.