Things are going from bad to worse quickly for the New York Islanders this season.
Defenseman Zdeno Chara entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday bringing that number to seven players on the team to enter the protocol. He joins captain Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Kieffer Bellows and Ross Johnston and defensemen Adam Pelech and Andy Greene.
GM Lou Lamoriello has received no guidance from the NHL on possible rescheduling. Tomorrow’s game against the New York Rangers is expected to be played.
Also on Tuesday, the Islanders announced forward Brock Nelson will be sidelined two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. He sustained the injury in the first period of New York’s 3-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.
Islanders in trouble
Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello addressed Chara’s situation prior to Tuesday’s practice.
“We’ll continue to do what we have control of,” Lamoriello said. “You can’t deal with things that are out of your hands. Certainly, these are difficult times, but we will stay focused on the players we have, what our abilities are to replace players if necessary and just stay as positive as we possibly can.
“I don’t think there’s any way you could approach this or handle this any differently.”
Chara, 44, has two assists in 15 games this season, his 24th in the NHL.
A six-time NHL All-Star, Chara won the 2008-09 Norris Trophy and the 2011 Stanley Cup during his 14-year run as a captain of the Boston Bruins from 2006-20.
Chara has 668 career points (207 goals, 461 assists) and 2,027 penalty minutes in 1,623 games with the Islanders (1997-2001, 2021-Present), Ottawa Senators (2001-06), Bruins and Capitals (2020-21).
Nelson, 30, leads the team in both goals (nine) and points (11) this season.
He has 339 career points (177 goals, 162 assists) in 619 games since being selected by the Islanders with the 30th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Nelson joins defenseman Ryan Pulock on the injured list.
–Field Level Media