Sports Canucks shut down because of COVID-19: Timeline, variant concerns, schedule, what's next

09:30  11 april  2021
09:30  11 april  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21

  COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21 Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is the list for today: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Anaheim – Alexander VolkovBoston – Jake DeBruskFlorida – TBALos Angeles – Brendan LemieuxMinnesota – Zach PariseMontreal – Joel Armia, Eric StaalNY Rangers – Brett Howden Vancouver – Adam GaudetteAs a reminder, inclusion on this list does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person.

In a season that has been impacted by COVID-19 since Day 1, the Vancouver Canucks became the latest NHL organization to have everything shut down.

After one player tested positive and more followed (including a coach and a player on the taxi squad who has not been named), the Canucks had multiple games postponed and their status for the next few weeks is undetermined.

Here is everything we know regarding the developing story in Vancouver:

What is the timeline of events?

Tuesday, March 30

News begins to surface that Vancouver center Adam Gaudette left practice halfway through the session. During his post-practice availability, head coach Travis Green reveals Gaudette "had a positive test come in this morning and we're following NHL protocol and he left the ice."

NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game

  NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game The NHL has decided to ere on the side of caution as a result of Adam Gaudette’s positive COVID-19 test.  Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that tonight’s game between the Canucks and Flames has been postponed.  TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweets that the decision was made after more information has surfaced regarding Vancouver’s test results; that information obviously has not yet been made public.

The positive test was from the March 29 batch. Gaudette is added to the NHL's COVID protocol list later in the day.

Wednesday, March 31

The Canucks and the visiting Flames hold morning skates in preparation for their tilt that night at Rogers Arena. The Canucks skate at approximately 10:30 a.m. PT and the Flames an hour later.

While the hope was that Gaudette's test result was a false positive, Green confirms Gaudette is in COVID protocols but that it appeared just one player was affected and the game that night was going to happen.

"Last night we had a pretty good idea we were good to go this morning," Green said, adding later: "We're preparing to play. We haven't been told otherwise."

According to Province Sports reporter Patrick Johnston, the Canucks paid to have Wednesday's PCR tests expedited.

Hamonic’s ordeal shows human aspect of Canucks’ COVID-19 pause

  Hamonic’s ordeal shows human aspect of Canucks’ COVID-19 pause The ordeal Vancouver Canucks defenceman Travis Hamonic is now enduring – and the risk to his family – should provide pause and context to fans who are disappointed or, worse, angry that hockey games are being postponed. The post Hamonic’s ordeal shows human aspect of Canucks’ COVID-19 pause appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.He joined winger Adam Gaudette and an unidentified member of the coaching staff on the team’s COVID list as the NHL announced the postponement of another three games for the Canucks, who were supposed to end a six-day schedule break Wednesday at Rogers Arena against the Calgary Flames.

At 9 p.m. ET, the NHL announces the game is postponed.

"As a result of two Vancouver Canucks Players (including one Player who was added to the COVID Protocol List after it was released at 5:00 p.m. ET today) as well as a member of their coaching staff entering the NHL’s COVID Protocols, the team’s game tonight against the Calgary Flames will be postponed," the statement read.

"We were all notified together," Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said the next day, April 1. The team was reportedly informed 40 minutes before warmups. "It was crazy because the day before we'd heard about the issues with the positive tests in Vancouver then all yesterday, not one word, so we figured we're good to go because you test every morning."

Variant first detected in Brazil concerning in Canada: here's what we know about P.1

  Variant first detected in Brazil concerning in Canada: here's what we know about P.1 From an outbreak on a Canadian NHL team to clusters of cases detected in Alberta, parts of Canada have been seeing skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers that are possibly linked to variants of concern over the last several weeks. While most variant cases in the country have stemmed from the B.1.1.7 variety first detected in the United Kingdom, troubling outbreaks of the P.1 variant, which was first identified in Brazil, are starting to emerge with more frequency. As of April 1, there have been 483 cases of the P.1 variant across the country, with the majority of them — 379 — in B.C., Health Canada says. There have been 10,856 cases of the B.1.1.

Thursday, April 1

Vancouver defenseman Travis Hamonic joins Gaudette on the COVID protocol list when it is released at about 5 p.m. ET. Hamonic opted out of summer bubble hockey as a member of the Flames, citing family concerns. His daughter was hospitalized in 2019 because of a respiratory illness.

An hour later, the NHL announces that the Canucks have been shut down. The team's games through April 6 are postponed, with the hope Vancouver could return to practice April 7.

Gaudette's wife, Micaela, posts an update on the player on Twitter:

Friday, April 2

Five more players are added to the list: Alex Edler, Braden Holtby, Quinn Hughes, Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel.

It should be noted that just because a player appears on the list, it does not necessarily mean they are COVID-positive. Players appear on the list when they test positive, need to complete a mandated quarantine or are a high-risk contact.

Saturday, April 3

There are now 14 Canucks players listed: Travis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Edler, Gaudette, Hamonic, Jayce Hawyrluk, Holtby, Bo Horvat, Hughes, MacEwen, Tyler Motte, Tyler Myers, Roussel and Brandon Sutter.

According to reports, three coaches are also believed to be positive.

Sunday, April 4

TSN's Darren Dreger reports that more than 20 members of the Canucks (players and coaches) have tested positive and a number are symptomatic.

Postmedia's Ben Kuzma posted an update about an hour later:

GM Jim Benning released the following statement on behalf of the organization. It's the first time the team has released anything since the beginning of the shutdown.

When the COVID list comes out at 5 p.m. ET, Jalen Chatfield and Marc Michaelis are the latest additions, bringing the total to 16 players.

Monday, April 5

Nils Hoglander is added to the COVID protocols list.

As of 5 p.m. ET, the Canucks are still scheduled to play the Flames on Saturday; however, it was announced that Calgary's game against the Oilers originally slated for May 7 has been switched to April 10. Therefore, it would appear the Canucks-Flames game is postponed. It is also expected that the Canucks will be shut down for longer than the originally announced time frame.

Later that night, Thursday and Saturday's Canucks-Flames games are listed as postponed on the NHL app. The NHL does not formally disclose the information.

Tuesday, April 6

Jake Virtanen is added to the list, making it 18 players.

Wednesday, April 7

The Canucks release a statement via team physician Dr. Jim Bovard and an infectious disease physician, Dr. Josh Douglas, regarding the team's status. It notes that all players and staff are quarantining.

"As of today, 25 individuals have tested positive and the source infection is confirmed a variant — full genome sequencing by BCCDC will be required to determine which specific type," the statement reads. "Among the 25 positive cases are 21 players (three players from taxi squad) and four members of staff. One additional player is considered a close contact.

"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 statement concludes with a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over: "This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes."

When the COVID protocol list is posted for Wednesday, 19 players are listed. Nate Schmidt is the lone addition.

Thursday, April 8

For the first time since the start of the outbreak, the Canucks do not add a player to the NHL's COVID protocol list. The number stands at 19. ESPN's Emily Kaplan reports that the league is hoping the team can get back on the ice at the end of next week.

Sportsnet's Mark Spector notes on Twiter that the Oilers have been told their two upcoming games against the Canucks — scheduled for Monday and Wednesday — have been postponed.

New Corona variant comes from India

 New Corona variant comes from India again there is a new corona variant. She originated in India. How dangerous it is, still seems unclear. But worry B.1.617 in any case. © Designit / Zoonar / Picture Alliance Provided by Deutsche Wave In India, the number of new infections has risen rapidly. For a total population of over 1.38 billion people, about 270,000 new infections per day are now registered. Whether and to what extent the new variant B.1.617 is responsible for the rapid increase, no one can say, but the guess is suggested

Friday, April 9

General manager Jim Benning and team physician Dr. Jim Bovard address the media.

"I think our players, for the most part, our players are on the other side of it," Benning said. "We still have family members that are getting sick and I think the players worry about that.”

While the symptoms have run the gamut, Bovard confirms that no one has been hospitalized. In addition, Bovard reveals that the outbreak was traced to one individual who "had gone to a place within the guidelines and that place was subsequently found to have cases of COVID."

British Columbia has experienced a recent rise in cases.

Dr. Bovard was also quick to add: "There’s no culprit here other than the COVID virus itself. Everybody’s been working incredibly hard in the last year to avoid getting it and in spite of their best efforts, this can happen."

Benning expects the season to be pushed beyond the expected end date. The season originally was scheduled to end May 8, but games are already scheduled for as late as May 11. He adds that he has not heard from any players in regard to not finishing the season.

Saturday, April 10

The NHL announces the Canucks (pending Saturday's tests) will open their practice facility on Sunday and will play their first game in over a week on Friday, April 16 vs. Edmonton. The league also announces makeup dates for the remaining seven Canucks games that were postponed and that the North Division's schedule, and the NHL's regular-season schedule, will now end May 16.

For more on the schedule: Click here.

As for the COVID protocol list, 19 Canucks remaining on the list.

Why is the Brazilian variant more of a concern?

The P.1 Brazilian variant is considered highly contagious, more likely to impact younger people, more likely to infect those who are vaccinated or have had COVID-19, and reportedly deadlier.

Johnston reported Saturday that Postmedia has confirmed that several players have this variant, including Hawryluk, who as a member of the Senators also had COVID-19 before last season was paused.

British Columbia has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks, including this variant. Whistler Blackcomb ski resort was shut down in the past week after a number of cases were reported to have originated from there.

Dreger reported April 2 that a number of players have been sick.

"There are cases here in Vancouver with the Canucks where the individuals are very ill," he said.

TSN's Farhan Lalji added that he has heard members of the team's medical staff "may have gone to the homes of  players to administer IV treatments."

What is the Canucks' remaining schedule?

Games postponed:

Wed., March 31 vs. Calgary Flames
Sat., April 3 at Edmonton Oilers
Sun., April 4 at Winnipeg Jets
Tue., April 6 at Winnipeg Jets
Thu., April 8 at Calgary Flames
Sat., April 10 at Calgary Flames
Mon., April 12 at Edmonton Oilers
Wed., April 14 at Edmonton Oilers

Remaining schedule:

Sat., April 17 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 7 p.m.
Mon., April 19 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 10 p.m.
Thu., April 22 vs. Ottawa Senators 10 p.m.
Sat., April 24 vs. Ottawa Senators 10 p.m.
Mon., April 26 at Ottawa Senators 7 p.m.
Wed., April 28 at Ottawa Senators 5:30 p.m.
Fri., April 30 at Toronto Maple Leafs 7 p.m.
Sat., May 1 at Toronto Maple Leafs 7 p.m.
Tue., May 4 vs. Edmonton Oilers 10 p.m.
Thu., May 6 vs. Edmonton Oilers 10 p.m.
Sat., May 8 vs. Calgary Flames 10 p.m.

What happens next?

That is the big question.

The Canucks are on the outside of the Stanley Cup playoff picture looking in and are not expected to make the postseason. With the season only having a few weeks remaining, time is of the essence to get games completed; whether games are rescheduled is TBD.

There is an expectation the team will be shut down for longer than the current week as more players and coaches have tested positive in the past few days.

On Saturday, TSN's Pierre LeBrun posted the latest news:

Sportsnet's Chris Johnston tweeted Saturday that the Canucks have begun to recall AHL players to bolster the roster.

New Corona variant comes from India .
again there is a new corona variant. She originated in India. How dangerous it is, still seems unclear. But worry B.1.617 in any case. © Designit / Zoonar / Picture Alliance Provided by Deutsche Wave In India, the number of new infections has risen rapidly. For a total population of over 1.38 billion people, about 270,000 new infections per day are now registered. Whether and to what extent the new variant B.1.617 is responsible for the rapid increase, no one can say, but the guess is suggested

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