With the Colorado Avalanche announcing that a third player has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the total is now at eight NHLers.
A third Colorado Avalanche player has tested positive for COVID-19. According to the statement released from the NHL, the player is in self-isolation and has not had close contact with any other Avalanche players or staff members.
With this third player on the Avalanche, the NHL total is at eight players. Five Ottawa Senators players have tested positive. While neither team played each other recently, they both did a tour through California, including Santa Clara County. They both played in the San Jose Sharks arena, using the same visiting locker room. A part-time staffer at SAP Center also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
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The team has not said how this third player is doing, but he’ll probably be fine. NHL players are not in the population most vulnerable to COVID-19. According to captain Gabriel Landeskog, the other two affected players on the team have recovered.
No names have been released from either team. I wonder if the NHL has asked players not to reveal themselves to avoid a Rudy Gobert situation. Social media showed the basketball player touching every microphone right before he tested positive. Maybe they or the players themselves are afraid of similar video coming out.
All NHL players have been asked to self-quarantine until April 15, which got moved back from April 4. The date might get moved back again, especially since the news just came out about the eighth NHLer to test positive. Caveat: The news coming out today doesn’t bear a strong correlation to when the player started showing symptoms or got tested. He may have just received the results for a test taken a while ago.
Meanwhile, as we reported yesterday, the NHL is keeping all its options open for a potential return to play. For the first time today, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman raised the possibility of not completing the regular season in its entirety. He wants to award the Stanley Cup before the new season begins, which may not be possible with a resumption of the regular season.
One of those options that is still open is to play at neutral sites with no fans. The games, whether regular season or playoff, won’t all be held at just one site, though. The NHL wants to spread the games out.
One site that’s been mentioned is the University of North Dakota, which has NHL-caliber facilities. Another option is in Buffalo where the Sabres have a two-rink practice facility attached to their game arena. The NHL would appreciate having three rinks at their disposal.
Meanwhile, the NHL Players’ Association is still considering how it wants to approach the final paycheck for this season, which is due April 15. Players and owners split revenue 50/50, and players have to pay back into escrow to address the revenue shortfall of the paused season.
I’m going to express two things I believe will be consistent across the Colorado Avalanche fandom. One, I hope the newly positive player and his family are all doing well like the other two are. Two, I hope we get to see a resumption of the season, as long as it’s safe.