The NHL is expected to postpone the Ottawa Senators’ next three games as the team deals with a massive COVID-19 outbreak, multiple outlets reported on Monday.
The team was originally supposed to fly to New Jersey Monday to prepare for a Tuesday night game against the Devils.
The Senators canceled practices last week as a precaution and have reportedly spread players out in the dressing room to keep contact to a minimum. Players are also being tested multiple times a day in conjunction with league safety protocols, which skaters say has become a distraction.
“Every day there’s something unexpected,” captain Brady Tkachuk said last week, via SportsNet. “So, of course, it kind of wears on you mentally.”
Head coach D.J. Smith added, “Mentally, players don’t know if they’re in (the lineup) or not in — they’re waiting on the test and it’s a lot of distraction.”
Ottawa isn’t the first club to deal with a massive outbreak this season. The San Jose Sharks just came out of a six-game stretch in which seven players and head coach Bob Boughner were in the COVID-19 protocol.
The Sharks, however, played through the ordeal and recalled a long list of AHL players to fill out their depleted roster while assistant coach John MacLean filled in behind the bench.
The league has yet to make the postponement of the Senators’ games official.
Chelena Goldman grew up on a street where the boys played street hockey and yelling at baseball and football over the radio was a standard — making life as a sports geek the perfect fit. She believes in dominance on the blue line, good red wine, and the theory that you can never be too overdressed for any occasion. You can find her gabbing away on Twitter at @ChelenaGoldman.
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