- Emily Kaplan is ESPN’s national NHL reporter.
The NHL is hopeful the Vancouver Canucks will be able to get back on the ice by the end of next week, deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.
However, the situation is still fluid after 25 players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19 that involves a variant. Many infected players were symptomatic, including some that had fatigue, body aches, chills and dehydration. At least one player required an IV last weekend, sources told ESPN.
Scheduling games will depend on how players recover. Daly said the league is still hopeful for Vancouver to play a full 56 games this season.
A player who has a confirmed positive case and is symptomatic must test negative twice and wait 10 days since symptoms first appeared. All players must also be cleared by a team doctor and cardiologist.
Thursday marked the first day since April 1 that no new Canucks players were added to the NHL’s COVID protocol list. Only three active roster players (Jordie Benn, Brock Boeser and Jimmy Vesey) are not currently in the protocol.
All players and coaches who tested positive are quarantining, including some who are isolating from their families.
“This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes,” the Canucks said in a statement released on Wednesday.
An ongoing investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health and contract tracing determined the outbreak began when a single unidentified individual picked up the infection in a “community setting.”
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