The Vancouver Canucks, who feature former Capitals Braden Holtby, Nate Schmidt, and Jay Beagle on their roster, were forced to cancel their practices and workouts on Sunday.
The team explained on Twitter that the “decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to potential exposure of COVID-19.
#CanucksCamp practices and workouts for today are cancelled. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to potential exposure of COVID-19.
Details regarding tomorrow’s schedule will be announced later today.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 10, 2021
The Canucks are the fourth NHL team in the last few days to announce cancellations or postponements due to an outbreak or exposure to COVID-19. Over 310k positive cases were reported in the United States on January 8 – a new high in the country – while Canada was near its peak with over 9k.
On Friday, the Dallas Stars reported that eight members of their team (six players, 2 staff members) had contracted the disease and would be forced to postpone its first three games of the regular season.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 8, 2021
Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets had players held out of practice Saturday due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have held a number of players out of today’s scheduled practice out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with NHL Covid-19 protocols.
— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) January 8, 2021
The Penguins canceled their entire practice that day.
The Penguins canceled practice for Saturday
Per the team, the decision was made out of an "abundance of caution due to potential exposure of COVID-19."
No word yet on Sunday's practice or beyond.
— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) January 9, 2021
And announced days prior that their Hall of Fame radio play-by-play announcer would opt out of the start of the season.
Lange: "I’ve decided to opt out of the start of the season after huddling with doctors about the course of COVID-19. They’ve suggested it probably is best to receive the vaccinations before going back in the booth.”
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 8, 2021
Other developments included the Tampa Bay Lightning announcing that they would not host fans at the beginning of the season, unlike their rivals down I-75, the Florida Panthers.
We will open the 2020-21 season without fans due to concerns caused by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Hillsborough County and west central Florida. https://t.co/yPUvDtYOH1
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 9, 2021
Unlike its bubble solution during the playoffs, the NHL’s regular season could be plagued at times by positive tests and postponements due to travel and more possible exposure to the deadly virus. The pandemic is also at its worst right now unlike during the 2020 playoffs when it was in a lull.
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