Due to the number of Ottawa Senators players currently testing positive for COVID-19, the NHL has postponed the team's next three games, the league announced on Monday. Tuesday's game against the New Jersey Devils, Thursday's game against the Nashville Predators and Saturday's upcoming home game against the New York Rangers will all be postponed due to the outbreak.
The NHL said the decision was made between the NHLPA's medical group and the Senators' medical group. These three games are the first to be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the 2021-22 season.
"The Senators organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, provincial and national agencies," the NHL said in a statement.
The total number of positive COVID-19 cases among Senators is now at 10:
- Goaltender Matt Murray
- Defensemen Nikita Zaitsev, Josh Brown, Victor Mete and Nick Holden
- Forwards Austin Watson, Connor Brown, Dylan Gambrell, Drake Batherson and Alex Formenton
The team has canceled four straight practices. When the number of players in the COVID-19 protocol was up to nine, Senators coach D.J. Smith commented on continuing to play.
"All you can do is just keep playing. We want to get a win to get everyone feeling good. It's not the ideal situation, but no one feels bad for you in this league," he said. "We're privileged to play and be in the NHL and we're going to go out there and give it all we've got."
But at this point, the NHL has deemed it unsafe for the Senators to continue playing other teams. The league is currently working on revising the team's schedule.