The Vancouver Canucks announced the addition of forward Nils Höglander to the COVID-19 protocol list, bringing the total of sidelined team members to 17.
Vancouver has an unnamed member of the taxi squad quarantining as a result of close contact, plus three members of the coaching staff have tested positive for COVID-19. That brings it to a total of 21 people in the Canucks organization impacted by the pandemic.
Vancouver still has had four games postponed by the NHL through April 6, but it’s believed that will change given the sheer magnitude of the issue. They are currently scheduled to play the Calgary Flames on Thursday and cannot return to practice prior to Tuesday.
The Canucks are likely to run into scheduling issues before this passes, but the NHL insists they have not yet seriously considered shortening the season to fewer than 56 games.
According to multiple reports, it’s believed several members of the Canucks experienced the P-1 variant of the coronavirus. Reports indicated that symptoms had improved for some over the course of the Easter weekend, so that’s good news, but this team is far from out of the woods.
The 17 reported players on the Canucks COVID-19 protocol list are as follows:
- Travis Boyd
- Jalen Chatfield
- Thatcher Demko
- Alex Edler
- Adam Gaudette
- Travis Hamonic
- Jayce Hawryluk
- Nils Höglander
- Braden Holtby
- Bo Horvat
- Quinn Hughes
- Zack MacEwen
- Marc Michaelis
- Tyler Motte
- Tyler Myers
- Antoine Roussel
- Brandon Sutter
This is Hawryluk’s second run-in with COVID-19. He contracted it last March as a member of the Ottawa Senators.
The outbreak on the Canucks began as winger Gaudette tested positive and was pulled for practice Tuesday. Hamonic tested positive after participating in a full team practice Wednesday, with the results coming just 90 minutes prior to Vancouver’s scheduled game against the Flames. The timeline is important, as it illustrated two infected players participated in on-ice sessions with the team.
This is, as far as anyone knows, the first indication of the P-1 variant wreaking havoc on an NHL team. The New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks early in the season.
“On behalf of our entire team, I want to thank fans everywhere for their support this past week,” general manager Jim Benning said. “…Our focus continues to be on the health of everyone involved and we are thankful for the extraordinary health care and guidance we have received from our team’s medical staff, [British Columbia] health officials and from NHL and NHLPA medical experts.”
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