More than half of the players on the Vancouver Canucks have tested positive for COVID-19, a source confirmed to ESPN. Additional names are expected to be added to the team’s COVID-19 protocol list, in addition to the 14 that appeared on Saturday.
Some players are symptomatic, and a few are in “rough shape” according to various sources. A Canucks player told ESPN that he had not heard from a team representative about players going to the hospital, but he had heard that teammates were receiving IV treatments for severe dehydration, presumably at their homes. A source told ESPN that at least three Canucks coaches have also tested positive for the virus. In addition, many relatives of players have tested positive and experienced complaints, according to sources.
“Fatigue, dehydration, the symptoms are intense,” a Canucks player agent told ESPN. “It knocked out a lot of guys. Some can’t even get out of bed. ‘
A source confirmed to ESPN Saturday night that the more contagious P.1 variant of COVID-19, first found in Brazil, has been found in several cases of the Canucks, the first known cases of the new variant among NHL. teams this year. That news was first reported by Canada’s Postmedia. The Vancouver region has recently become a hotspot for the P.1 variant.
The NHL initially planned to close the Canucks practice facility until at least Tuesday, while the team would get back into action on Thursday. However, those dates are expected to be delayed as this is the worst outbreak for any team in the NHL this season. The NHL hopes the Canucks will be able to resume play this season, although planning decisions will be made in the coming days as more information is gathered on how players recover.
On Saturday, the NHL and NHLPA distributed memos to teams to remind them to stay “vigilant” and adhere to the guidelines agreed for this season – including wearing masks even if individuals are vaccinated, and not to restaurants to go. Coaches were also reminded not to take off their masks to talk to players or officials on the benches during games, which has become common practice in the NHL this season.
The Canucks are the second Canadian-based team to have COVID-19 issues. The Montreal Canadiens had postponed four games at the end of March, but have since been back in action. The NHL has now postponed 45 games due to COVID-19, although the first 37 postponements were all for United States-based teams.
For Vancouver, the matter started on Tuesday, when Adam Gaudette was taken out of practice after a positive test result, which was confirmed positive later that evening. Travis Hamonic joined Gaudette on the protocol list on Thursday. On Friday, Alexander Edler, Braden Holtby, Quinn Hughes, Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel were all added to the list as well, after additional testing and contract tracking. Gaudette’s wife, Micaela, tweeted on Thursday: “My husband is not in top shape, but I’m taking good care of him!”
Micaela Gaudette also tweeted, “A human gets sick with a virus we don’t know much about and you are angry with him because you can’t watch a hockey game on TV” in response to criticism on social media.
Travis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Jayce Hawryluk, Bo Horvat, Tyler Motte, Tyler Myers and Brandon Sutter were added to the list on Saturday.
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