The Vancouver Canucks are scheduled to return to the ice Sunday, with the NHL approving the reopening of their practice facilities. If all goes well, Vancouver should be set to host the Edmonton Oilers Friday.
The reopening of the practice facility is pending the results of tests on Saturday.
“The Canucks’ organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, provincial and federal agencies,” the league said.
Players are expected to return to practice and individual practices Sunday. As of now, a full team practice is scheduled for Wednesday.
Over the course of the last two weeks, the Canucks announced a total of 25 players that tested positive for COVID-19. The numbers included 21 players and four members of the coaching staff. According to reports Friday, most of the players afflicted with the coronavirus are now feeling better.
General manager Jim Benning stated his players were “on the other side of it,” although he noted that family members were still getting sick.
A total of seven Canucks games have been postponed between March 31 and April 14. Those games have been rescheduled and the regular season will conclude May 16 in a game against the Calgary Flames.
Vancouver will tumble through 19 games in the next 30 days, with six back-to-backs on the skid. A total of 13 games had to be rescheduled in the North Division, while the start times for two games were changed.
The NHL is now waiting to see when the playoffs will begin. There is the potential for a staggered post-season, with the first round for other divisions commencing a few days prior to the opening of the North Division’s playoff lineup.
According to multiple reports, a COVID-19 variant is the culprit in this Canucks outbreak. Further testing will be required to determine exactly which variant is at the core.