Nutivaara returned to the team Tuesday after clearing the NHL's COVID-19 protocols, David Dwork of Local 10 Miami reports. Nutivaara is eligible to make his Panthers debut in Tuesday's game against the Blackhawks. The 26-year-old blueliner logged 244 NHL games over the last four years with the Panthers, contributing 17 goals, 43 assists and 30 PIM.
Nutivaara was placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol Monday, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reports. Nutivaara was already expected to miss Tuesday's game against the Blackhawks, and the reason for his absence is now clear. The 26-year-old won't be able to participate in team activities until he clears the COVID-19 protocols.
Coach Joel Quenneville doesn't expect Nutivaara (not injury related) to play in Sunday's or Tuesday's game against the Blackhawks, Jameson Olive of the Panthers' official site reports. Nutivaara missed the entirety of Florida's training camp due to the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, so he'll likely need a few practices to get up to speed before making his Panthers debut. The 26-year-old Finn notched nine points in 37 games while skating in a bottom-pairing role with the Blue Jackets last season.
Per the NHL's Media Site, Nutivaara was cleared from the league's COVID-19 protocols. Nutivaara was placed on the list Wednesday, so it's a positive sign to see the 26-year-old activated a day later. With Thursday and Friday's games cancelled with the Stars, the Panthers won't play until Sunday, which gives Nutivaara a good chance to suit up.
Nutivaara is unavailable due to the league's COVID-19 protocols. The specifics of his placement remain unclear, but Nutivaara will not be able to practice or travel with the team until he's been cleared. This news likely rules the forward out of Thursday's game against the Stars, but there's no specific timeline for his return.
Last 7 Games
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