NHL COVID issues flare with more Flames impacted; Hurricanes game postponed; Barzal and Marchand on protocol

nhl rumors mathew barzal
Dec 2, 2021; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with the puck against San Jose Sharks during the second period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is facing a harsh reality this winter as COVID cases are spiking. Today alone, several star players have been added to a growing protocol list.

In addition to that, the Calgary Flames, who were already postponed, added three more players. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes announced four more players were added and their game against the Minnesota Wild has been postponed.

In just over the last 24 hours over 30 players have entered COVID protocol. The NHLPA and NHL Olympic opt-out date is January 10.

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Hurricanes vs Wild Postponed

“The National Hockey League has announced that, as a result of four additional Hurricanes players entering the NHL’s COVID protocols earlier today, the team’s game tonight against the Minnesota Wild will be postponed,” per the Hurricanes website.

No reschedule date has been set.

Carolina already had Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis on the list before the additional positive tests. Now added are Ian Cole, Jordan Staal, Andrei Svechnikov, and Steven Lorentz.

Islanders place Barzal on COVID protocol

New York Islanders star forward Mathew Barzal was placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and has been ruled out for Tuesday’s road game against the Detroit Red Wings.

“He will not play tonight, he’s in COVID protocol,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said following the team’s morning skate.

Barzal, 24, has recorded team-leading totals in both assists (12) and points (17) in 23 games this season. He is riding a six-game point streak (one goal, eight assists).

Bruins place Marchand and Smith on COVID list

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Nov 11, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) during the third period against the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand and fellow forward Craig Smith were placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday.

The moves come three days removed from Boston’s 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames, who since have placed nine players and one member of the training staff in the protocol. The NHL postponed three of the Flames’ games on Monday.

Marchand, 33, has recorded team-leading totals in goals (11), assists (16), points (27) and penalty minutes (38) in 21 games this season.

Smith, 32, has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 19 games this season.

Flames add more players

The Calgary Flames placed defenseman Noah Hanifin and forwards Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday.

The trio boosts the team’s total to nine players and one member of the training staff in the protocol.

Team leading goal-scorer Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm, Brad Richardson and Adam Ruzicka as well as defensemen Christopher Tanev and Nikita Zadorov entered the protocol on Monday.

The NHL postponed three of the Flames’ games following Monday’s moves.

“Thank you for the well wishes!” Lucic wrote on Twitter. “Our team is 100% vaccinated and some like myself also have a booster. Looking forward to being back on the ice soon!”

Calgary (15-7-6, 36 points), which is mired in a four-game winless skid (0-3-1), tentatively is scheduled to return to the ice on Saturday against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report