Canucks' Poolman exits mid-game as team says he has been placed in league protocol
Flames place 3 more players in protocol; NHL postpones Hurricanes-Wild game
A fourth Vancouver Canucks player has been placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.
Defenceman Tucker Poolman left Vancouver's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with about five minutes to go in the first period Tuesday. The team later said on Twitter that he has been placed in protocol.
Canucks defenceman Tucker Poolman will not return to tonight’s game. Poolman has been placed into the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.—@Canucks
Earlier in the day, the club said defencemen Luke Schenn and Brad Hunt and winger Juho Lammikko had tested positive for the virus.
The team was retested Tuesday morning, with Hunt's result coming back shortly before the game.
"At this point, we just have to follow the protocols and be very cautious, which is what everyone's doing right now," said Canucks president Jim Rutherford.
He added that at least one player is experiencing symptoms but he did not know what the symptoms were.
Tuesday's morning skate was cancelled as a precaution.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said the cancellation didn't really impact the team's game preparation.
"The players don't want anything like last year and they don't want to get behind the 8-ball," he said. "I think they're going to be ready and full of energy tonight."
The NHL postponed a game between the Hurricanes and Wild earlier Tuesday after Carolina placed six players and a member of the training staff in COVID protocol. The Canucks played the Hurricanes on Sunday.
Vancouver was the NHL team hit hardest by COVID-19 last season, with 21 players and four coaches testing positive for the virus, and several games being postponed.
Trio of Flames enter league protocol
Three more Calgary Flames have entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.
The Flames confirmed in a short statement on social media Tuesday that defenceman Noah Hanifin and forwards Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan have joined six other players and a staff member in the league's protocol.
"Our team is 100 per cent vaccinated and some like myself also have a booster," Lucic wrote Tuesday in a Twitter post.
Forwards Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson and Adam Ruzicka and defencemen Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov entered protocol Monday.
The additions to the protocol come a day after the NHL postponed three Flames games: Monday in Chicago; Tuesday in Nashville and Thursday's at home against Toronto.
The league said in a release Monday the games were postponed because of concern of continued spread and the likelihood of additional positive cases.
The Flames' training facilities were closed. Calgary is scheduled to host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
Calgary became the third team to have its season interrupted by the virus.
Three Ottawa Senators games were postponed and the New York Islanders had two called off last month.
Later Tuesday, the Boston Bruins placed forwards Brad Marchand and Craig Smith in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, meaning they will miss Tuesday night's game against the Vegas Golden Knights and possibly as many as six games in all.
The move comes three days after the Bruins played the Flames in Calgary.
NHL sidelines Hurricanes
The NHL postponed a game between the Hurricanes and Wild Tuesday after Carolina placed six players and a member of the training staff in COVID protocol. The Canucks played the Hurricanes on Sunday.
The call came a little more than five hours before the scheduled start time in St. Paul, where several Hurricanes were lined up for testing in the arena hallways before their morning skate at Xcel Energy Center. The NHL did not immediately announce a rescheduled date.
Including opponents, 11 of the 32 teams have been affected by at least postponement so far. The NHL has recommended but not mandated booster shots for its players and team personnel.
For the Hurricanes, forwards Jordan Staal, Andrei Svechnikov and Steven Lorentz and defenceman Ian Cole were placed in the protocol and must remain in Minnesota for "the time being."
That meant six players and one staff member entered the protocol in a 24-hour period. Hurricanes defencemen Tony DeAngelo and Brett Pesce also went in the COVID-19 protocol on Nov. 30 and have missed the last seven games.
Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said the team was "just trying to get by day to day right now."
"Everyone did what they had to do," he said. "We got vaccinated. We did our part. So you know, I don't know what else there is to do. Guys are testing all the time. We're masking up. It is what it is right now. Everybody's getting this thing unfortunately. The good news is they're not getting sick."
The Minnesota game was set to cap a five-game road swing for the Hurricanes, who were due to return home and play Thursday against Detroit, Saturday against Los Angeles and Sunday against Nashville.
With files from The Associated Press