The NHL had already postponed four Canucks games because of previous positive tests; they now seem likely to postpone more.
Another six Vancouver Canucks players tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, Postmedia has confirmed.
These cases are in addition to two players, Adam Gaudette and Travis Hamonic, and an unnamed coach testing positive earlier this week.
On Thursday, the NHL announced that the four games scheduled for the Canucks through to April 6 had been postponed after Hamonic’s and the coach’s Wednesday tests were confirmed as positive. Gaudette initially tested positive last Monday.
The NHL is not expected to make another announcement today but further postponements could come over the next few days, depending on whether there are further positive tests on the Canucks. And at this point the league still isn’t looking at cancelling games, though with the Canucks quickly falling out of the playoff race because of the Montreal Canadiens now sitting six points ahead of them with four games still in hand, some of these postponed games may become moot points for the standings.
The Canucks took to the ice for practice on Tuesday before the results of their Monday tests had been delivered so Gaudette was on the ice and interacting with teammates while already positive. When the result of his test was received by the Canucks’ staff he was removed from the ice.
It’s not been confirmed if the subsequent eight cases are related to the Gaudette case, though the circumstantial evidence points in that direction.
The team held a morning skate Wednesday as they normally would after their daily PCR tests were taken. The team paid to have the tests processed expeditiously and received the results at about 5:30 p.m. that same afternoon, tests that confirmed the coach and Hamonic as positive.
At the end of Wednesday’s morning skate, a reporter observed Hamonic and Brandon Sutter speaking with a member of the Flames’ training staff. Hamonic and Sutter were leaning on the boards by the Flames’ bench and the Flames staffer was down the tunnel behind the bench, about 10 to 15 feet away.
The players and staff were then instructed to return to their homes and isolate while they waited for the NHL, the NHL Players’ Association and Vancouver Coastal Health to determine their path forward. Thursday afternoon it was announced that the team would have to isolate at home while continue their daily round of testing.
With Hamonic obviously already infectious you do wonder what the level of concern inside the Flames is now. And for Hamonic its especially worrying as he opted out of last summer’s Stanley Cup playoffs over health concerns related to his young daughter, who spent a week in hospital in 2019 with a respiratory infection.
More to come…