The National Hockey League has suspended the Vancouver Canucks from all team operations following the positive COVID-19 test results for eight players alongside members of the coaching staff.
This pause includes any team activity up until April 6. The Canucks were set to travel to Bell MTS Place for a two-game set with the Winnipeg Jets on April 4 and 6, but that North Division matchup will be no more – or at least will not be played in the coming week.
“Pending test results in the coming days, it is expected that the Canucks will be able to resume their game schedule on Thursday, April 8, with a return to practice not occurring before April 6,” the League wrote in a statement released Thursday evening. “The decision was made by the League’s, NHLPA’s and Club’s medical groups. The Canucks’ 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 federal agencies.”
As has been the case with other postponements across the NHL this season, the league has rescheduled games for later in the season as well as following what was supposed to be the final week of play in May. The Jets and Canucks are likely heading down that route.
The NHL has postponed the #NHLJets games against the COVID-ridden Vancouver Canucks, originally scheduled for April 4 and 6.
Winnipeg will now have a much-needed break following Friday’s game against Toronto.
The Jets are next scheduled to play in Montreal on April 8.
— Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) April 1, 2021
Despite still going ahead with business as usual from the rink on Friday, the Jets will face the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:00 Friday evening, before embarking on what will now be a five-day pause in the schedule. Following the team’s busiest stretch of the season, this break should be a welcomed addition to the calendar for all involved in the daily practice.
Yes, it will mean a tighter schedule in the stretch run, but Winnipeg has been dealing with a tight schedule since Day 1. With not extended break like the one the team is about to see, some R & R will certainly prove beneficial, especially considering the recent injury scare to captain Blake Wheeler, who left Wednesday’s game with Toronto after the first period of play, but did return
After Canucks’ forward Adam Gaudette was initially listed on the team’s COVID-19 list earlier this past week, defenceman Travis Hamonic was added Thursday, alongside a member of the coaching staff. Then, on Friday morning, six additional players’ tests came back positive while other members of the team’s staff also tested positive.
Sadly, Hamonic has a young daughter who been sick with a respiratory illness, which prompted his decision to not participate in the NHL’s return to play this past summer. The health of the St. Malo product and his family remain the top priority moving forward.