More than half of the Vancouver Canucks players tested positive for COVID-19, a source confirmed to ESPN. Additional names are expected to be added to the team’s list of COVID-19 protocols in addition to the 14 that appeared on Saturday.
Some players are symptomatic and, according to various sources, there are some who are in “bad shape”. A Canucks player told ESPN that he had not heard from a team representative about players going to the hospital, but had heard of teammates receiving intravenous treatments for severe dehydration, presumably at home. A source told ESPN that at least three Canucks coaches also tested positive for the virus. Additionally, many family members of players have tested positive and are experiencing symptoms, according to sources.
“Fatigue, dehydration, the symptoms are intense,” an agent for a Canucks player told ESPN. “It has knocked out a lot of kids. Some can’t even get out of bed.”
A source confirmed to ESPN Saturday night that the most infectious P.1 variant of COVID-19, which was first found in Brazil, has been found among several of the cases affecting the Canucks, the first known cases. of the new variant between NHL. teams this year. That news was first reported by Canada’s Postmedia. The Vancouver region has recently become a hotspot for the P.1 variant.
The NHL had initially planned to close the Canucks’ practice facility until at least April 6 and the team would return to action on April 8. However, those dates are expected to be postponed, as this is the worst outbreak for a team in the NHL. season. The NHL is hopeful that the Canucks can resume play this season, although scheduling decisions will be made in the coming days as more information becomes available on how the players are recovering.
On Saturday, the NHL and NHLPA distributed memos to teams reminding them to stay “vigilant” and adhere to agreed guidelines for this season, including wearing masks, even if people have been vaccinated, and not going to restaurants. . Coaches were also reminded not to lower their masks to speak to players or officials on the benches during games, which has become common practice in the NHL this season.
The Canucks are the second Canada-based team to have COVID-19 issues. The Montreal Canadiens had four games postponed at the end of March, but have since returned to action. The NHL has postponed 45 games due to COVID-19, although the first 37 postponements were all for teams based in the United States.
For Vancouver, the trouble began Tuesday when Adam Gaudette was pulled from practice following a positive test result, which was confirmed positive later that night. Travis Hamonic joined Gaudette on the protocol list Thursday. By Friday, Alex Edler, Braden Holtby, Quinn Hughes, Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel were also added to the list, following additional testing and contract tracking. Gaudette’s wife, Micaela, tweeted Thursday: “My husband is not in very good shape, but I am taking good care of him!”
Micaela Gaudette also tweeted: “A human being gets sick with a virus that we don’t know much about and everyone is mad at him because they can’t watch a hockey game.”
Travis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Jayce Hawryluk, Bo Horvat, Tyler Motte, Tyler Myers and Brandon Sutter were added to the list on Saturday.