Pittsburgh Penguins off-season re-acquisition Kasperi Kapanen has not yet been on the ice with his teammates, but his return is imminent. Kapanen was removed from the NHL’s COVID Protocol on Friday but was still held out of practice on Saturday. However, Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Kapanen took his fourth COVID test today and a fourth negative result will make it his final test. He will be able to re-join the team immediately, with head coach Mike Sullivan stating that they will have him in uniform as quickly as they can once that test result is received. Kapanen, 24, recorded 80 points combined over the past two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is expected to skate with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel on the Penguins’ top line.
- Mikael Granlund remains on the NHL’s COVID Protocol list for the Nashville Predators, but progress is being made toward getting him on the ice. Granlund’s return to Nashville was initially delayed due to immigration issues that caused him to miss all of training camp. According to The Athletic’s Adam Vingan, he has now arrived in Nashville and has begun the mandated quarantine following commercial travel. At no point has Granlund tested positive for Coronavirus and he should be eligible to return to the lineup as soon as his quarantine ends. Head coach John Hynes has stated that he expects Granlund to return to a top-six role for the Predators after he recorded 30 points in 63 games last season, more than half of which came after Hynes took over.
- The San Diego Gulls and Ontario Reign, AHL affiliates of the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings respectively, had intended to begin their preseason tonight with an exhibition game in Irvine, California. However, that game has been canceled due to precautions related to Coronavirus and in adherence with local health protocols. The two teams are scheduled to play on Sunday as well, but no determination has been made on that game yet.