The Vancouver Canucks’ COVID-19 outbreak continues to worsen as 16 players and three coaches have now been affected, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN. LeBrun’s report also states the NHL is essentially operating under the expectation that all members of the team will test positive in the coming days.
The Canucks are also being heavily affected by the P.1 variant of COVID-19 that was first identified in Brazil, which is something the NHL hasn’t dealt with yet, LeBrun notes. Some members of the team have fallen very ill as a result of the virus, Darren Dreger of TSN reports.
Earlier this week it was announced that Vancouver would have games postponed through Apr. 6 as two players and a member of the coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19. With the outbreak worsening, it can certainly be expected that the team will be sidelined longer than the initial timeline. LeBrun says that the NHL will likely have to schedule games beyond the current season end-date of May 11. This extension to the North Division’s schedule, however, doesn’t mean the playoff dates currently set for other divisions will be altered.
Vancouver will need to have multiple days of negative tests and the recovery of its players will be taken into consideration before the team can return to action, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet stated on Saturday’s Headlines.
The NHL has also sent a stern memo to all of its teams as a reminder to remain vigilant in following COVID-19 protocols, LeBrun reports.