The number of Vancouver Canucks players and coaches on the COVID protocol list has grown to 25, the team announced on Wednesday. The previous number had been in the teens, but the Canucks now say 21 players and four members of the coaching staff have tested positive. One player is also being considered a close contact.
Of the 22 players on the active roster, 19 were listed on the NHL's COVID protocol list as of April 7. Currently the entire team, including players and coaches, are in quarantine.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN's Emily Kaplan that the league hopes the Canucks can return to team activities by the end of next week and they are hopeful Vancouver will be able to play their full 56-game regular-season schedule. The team has not played since March 24.
The team released a statement saying, "This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes."
According to the statement, "An ongoing investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health and club contact tracing staff attributes the source infection to a single individual obtained in a community setting, which has since been identified by public health as a public exposure location."
As of today, 25 individuals have tested positive and the source infection is confirmed a variant – full genome sequencing by BCCDC will be required to determine which specific type.— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) April 7, 2021
Read the latest update from #Canucks Physician, Jim Bovard. https://t.co/9oKx59HBfg
Here is the list of players that were under COVID protocols on April 3:
There are now 14 #canucks on the NHL's COVID Protocol list with Travis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Jayce Hawryluk, Bo Horvat, Tyler Motte, Tyler Myers and Brandon Sutter joining Alex Edler, Adam Gaudette, Travis Hamonic, Braden Holtby, Quinn Hughes, Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 3, 2021
It's worth noting that, as the league has made clear throughout this season, that being on the COVID protocols list doesn't necessarily mean that the player placed there has tested positive for the respiratory disease. The placement could just be a result of the person being in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
On Thursday, the league announced that the Canucks would have all of their games through April 6 postponed as a result of initial positive tests among players and one unidentified member of coaching staff. Their next game is scheduled to take place on April 8, but it remains to be seen if the team will have enough available players for a game that day.
The league has had 45 games postponed as a result of health-and-safety protocols. The postponements have led the league to extend the end of the season from May 8 to May 11.