More COVID fallout for Vancouver Canucks with another game delay
News comes 1 day after J.T. Miller questioned the wisdom of forcing players into tight recovery timeline
The Vancouver Canucks' season restart from the COVID-19 outbreak that ravaged the team has suffered a setback.
The NHL said Friday's game versus the Edmonton Oilers in Vancouver has been postponed. Saturday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs may also be in limbo, according to posts on social media from sports journalists who cover the team.
"The decision to extend the period prior to the team's resumption of play was made to provide club staff and players with additional time for recovery and preparation following its recent COVID outbreak," the league said in a statement.
"The NHL made the decision with input from the League's, NHLPA's and club's medical groups."
The news comes one day after forward J.T. Miller questioned the wisdom of forcing the players into a tight timeline to finish the season.
"To come back and play is going to be very challenging and not very safe, if you're asking me. I'm sure there are other people who would agree with that," said Miller.
From the start, Vancouver's return-to-game timeline felt overly ambitious considering that 22 players had contracted COVID-19 and none had played a game in three weeks.
Head Coach Travis Green is still recovering from the virus.
The first revamped schedule, announced this past weekend, had Vancouver playing 19 games in 31 nights.
But with every passing day, concerns grew over player health and safety and whether the Canucks could field some semblance of an NHL hockey team by Friday.
As of Thursday, three Canucks players remained on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list, down from seven the previous day.
The team held its first official practice in two weeks Thursday morning, but only after closing the rink to media.
Canucks players met with NHL Players' Association representatives Wednesday night to discuss concerns.
A new schedule has not been announced.
- A previous version of this story stated the Canucks/Leafs game on Sunday, April 18 has been postponed. In fact, the status of that game is unclear.Apr 15, 2021 3:35 PM PT