Five Carolina Hurricanes players are now in the National Hockey League’s COVID protocol, the league announced Tuesday, forcing the Hurricanes’ game against the Nashville Predators to be postponed to a later date.
Hearing the Carolina-Nashville game tonight is postponed. Covid situation with the Hurricanes.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 19, 2021
Forwards Jordan Martinook, Warren Foegele and Teuvo Teravainen, as well as defenseman Jaccob Slavin, were added to the NHL’s list of players in the COVID protocol on Tuesday afternoon. They join captain Jordan Staal, who has been in the protocol for the past four days and missed the Hurricanes’ two most recent games, on the NHL’s protocol list.
The NHL released the following official statement on the game’s postponement:
The National Hockey League today announced that Game #52, Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed. The rescheduled date of Game #52 will be announced when available.
The decision was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts.
A placement on the COVID list does not necessarily mean that the players have symptoms or have even tested positive. However, multiple reports, including Frank Seravalli of TSN and Sara Civian of The Athletic, cited team and league sources in reporting that the players have indeed tested positive. The following are reasons a player could end up on the list:
(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.
At this time no decision has been announced with regard to Thursday’s planned home opener against the Florida Panthers at PNC Arena. However, Seravalli reported that the players in the protocol will remain behind in Nashville while the rest of the traveling party returns to Raleigh, and if all are unavailable Thursday the Hurricanes would be at the bare minimum number of available skaters, even after the four taxi squad players were added to the active roster. With that in mind, it seems unlikely Thursday’s game will be played as scheduled.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.