The Vegas Golden Knights kick things off tomorrow against the Seattle Kraken, the second game of the 2021-22 regular season. Unfortunately, it looks like they may be missing one of their forward options. Mattias Janmark was unavailable to the team today because he has been put in the league’s COVID-19 protocol.
As a reminder, inclusion in the protocol does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person. Included in the NHL’s list of possible reasons for someone being on the COVID Protocol Related Absences list–which actually won’t be released for the first time until tomorrow–are the following:
(1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact in accordance with the Positive Test Protocol; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 Protocol.
Janmark has not had a good camp with the Golden Knights, who signed him to a one-year, $2MM contract this offseason after a trade brought him to Vegas last season. The 28-year-old was playing on the fourth line recently, not exactly what was expected of a player that made such a strong impression in the playoffs and was supposed to add some valuable depth scoring to the lineup.
His addition to the protocol so close to the regular season is a reminder that there will still be lineup disruptions throughout the year, even for those players and teams that are fully vaccinated. It is not clear yet how long Janmark will be unavailable.