The Calgary Flames saw two more of their games postponed due to COVID-19 concerns on Friday.
The Flames were scheduled to be visited by the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday and the Seattle Kraken on Thursday. Their next game should therefore be played at home against the Edmonton Oilers on December 27.
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A total of 19 players, three coaches and nine Flames staff have been subjected to COVID-19 protocol. Calgary hasn’t played since Dec. 11 – a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins. The dates for the six postponed games have yet to be announced.
The attacker Mikael backlund and a Flames staff member were added to the COVID-19 roster on Friday, a day after Dillon Dube, Oliver kylington and another member of staff.
Wednesday, the attackers Byron Froese, Johnny Gaudreau, Trevor Lewis and Tyler pitlick, the defenders Rasmus Andersson and Erik Gudbranson, and the guardian Jacob Markstrom were under protocol, as were head coach Darryl Sutter, assistant coaches Ryan Huska and Kirk Muller, and seven other staff.
They joined the attackers Milan Lucic, Sean monahan, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad richardson and Adam ruzicka, the defenders Noah hanifin, Christopher Tanev and Nikita Zadorov, and another member of staff, who had been subject to the protocol in the previous days. The NHL announced on Monday that the Flames’ next three games would be postponed, adding that other positive cases could be added in the following days to explain its decision.
The Flames were scheduled to face the Blackhawks in Chicago on Monday and visit the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, before hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
“We have to prepare,” said general manager Brad Treliving on Tuesday. The lesson to be learned is to take the information and make the best decision for the future. Today we know that we have positive tests. We know the games are postponed until Thursday. We have to prepare for that. «
The Calgary training complex is closed and will remain closed to players until further notice.
Treliving said the Flames players were tested Saturday morning in preparation for their flight to Chicago on Sunday. When three results were positive on Sunday morning, all team members were retested at the airport before departure.
The flight was delayed pending results. The first three positive results were confirmed, then three more positive cases were announced.
“As we’ve learned over the past two years, you stay alert and prepare for any eventuality,” Treliving had said. Our activities are suspended until Thursday. This is the initial instruction. And we continue to monitor the situation.
« We deal with an imperfect situation […], we would all like that COVID did not exist. But it is there, so you have to deal with it. I don’t think this is a problem. You do your best to limit the spread. When we got the results on Sunday morning, we felt the need to keep everyone safe. There is no perfect way to handle it all. Our medical staff and doctors do a good job of trying to keep everyone safe. We’re dealing with a pandemic, so there’s nothing perfect. «
The NHL also announced Friday that the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers will be suspended until Christmas. Both teams, like the Flames, were set to return to action on Dec. 27, as the Avalanche take on the Vegas Golden Knights and the Panthers face the Carolina Hurricanes.
A decision on whether to reopen the training complexes for each of the teams will be made by the NHL and the Players’ Association in the coming days. The NHL is currently reviewing the regular season schedule for the three teams.
The NHL has postponed 20 games this season due to COVID-19. Last season, 55 games were postponed and all were resumed as part of a condensed schedule of 56 games.