Photo: Awful Announcing
The Vancouver Canucks announced on Wednesday afternoon that 25 individuals from the organization have tested positive for COVID-19, including 18 roster players, three players on the taxi squad, and four staff members. All players and staff are currently in quarantine.
Another case is considered to be a close contact.
The team has not played since March 24 and are not scheduled to play again until Monday, when they are set to face the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Though, that date could very well be pushed back.
The Brazilian strain of COVID-19 has hit the Canucks’ locker room and their players and coaches have vomited, cramped, and dehydrated. In addition, their family members have contracted the virus.
Goaltender Braden Holtby, goaltender Thatcher Demko, center Adam Gaudette, defenseman Travis Hamonic, center Travis Boyd, defenseman Alex Edler, center Jayce Hawyrlchuk, captain Bo Horvat, defenseman Quinn Hughes, forward Zack MacEwen, forward Tyler Motte, defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Antoine Roussel, and forward Brandon Sutter were on Saturday’s COVID-19-related absences list. It is known that Gaudette and Hamonic are among the players that have tested positive.
Nate Schmidt was added to the Vancouver Canucks’ COVID-19 protocol list today.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) April 7, 2021
This is the biggest COVID-19 outbreak that the NHL has seen within a team this season.
Boyd was on protocol after being claimed off of waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 22 and needed to self-quarantine before he could be available.
The NHL will have to reschedule at least six Canucks games and have a week in between the end of the regular season and the start of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs as a block to make up postponed games.
The Canucks entered Wednesday seven points behind the Montreal Canadiens for fourth place in the North Division standings, though the Canadiens have two games in hand on them. They are currently tied with the Flames for fifth and have three games in hand of them.
Holtby signed with the Canucks as an unrestricted free agent on October 9 after 12 seasons in the Washington Capitals organization and backstopping them to their first Stanley Cup in 2018. Boyd spent nine seasons within the Capitals’ organization.
An ongoing investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health and club contact tracing staff attributes the source infection to a single individual obtained in a community setting, which has since been identified by public health as a public exposure location. Rapid spread of infection throughout the team indicates a link between contacts and the primary case.
The health and safety of players, staff, families and the greater community remains the utmost priority. The Canucks are grateful for the continued support of local public health officials, the NHL and NHLPA and encourage everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following health orders. COVID-19 infections are rising in BC. This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes.
– Team Physician – Jim Bovard, M.D.
Infectious Disease Physician – Josh Douglas, M.D.
By Harrison Brown