The 2020-21 NHL season begins on Wednesday night and the league is dealing with numerous COVID-19 cases before one puck drops. The league announced on Tuesday that 27 players tested positive during formal training camp -- and while the positive tests came from nine different teams, the Dallas Stars accounted for 17 of them.
The Stars have already paused practices due to COVID-19 issues -- and it remains to be seen if their season will start on time even after being rescheduled. They are set to begin with a game against the Lightning on Jan. 19. Their first three games of the season have already been postponed.
According to NBC Sports, head coach Rick Bowness said that the Stars "did everything right last week and we still got hit with this thing."
Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin described his battle with the virus, saying even though it did not hit him as hard as it could have, it was difficult to deal with.
"It's not easy. I'm telling you right now, it's not easy. First of all, it's hard to breathe. I didn't have it really bad. They didn't have to put me on an oxygen tank; I was breathing normally," he said. "But let's say you're going upstairs to the second floor or third floor, you're going to catch your breath. It's hard."
From December 30 to January 11, the NHL administered 12,000 daily tests to about 1,200 players. The league said most of those who did test positive are asymptomatic and all are "currently recovering without complication."
Names of players who tested positive during training camp were not named, but the NHL will release names of players who have COVID-19 during the regular season.