Perhaps it’s a good thing that their game against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight was canceled. The Carolina Hurricanes have announced that Jaccob Slavin is now in the COVID protocol, meaning he would have missed the game anyway. Slavin is the only Hurricanes player on the protocol at the moment, as though Brendan Smith hasn’t played since the middle of December, he returned to practice before the new year.
If there’s one player you wouldn’t want to take out of the Hurricanes lineup it’s probably Slavin, who has truly been a do-it-all star for the team this season. The 27-year-old defenseman has 18 points in 33 games, is averaging nearly 24 minutes a night, and leads all NHL players in short-handed ice time. In fact, his 129:13 is nearly 12 minutes ahead of the second-place Ryan McDonagh’s 117:55, showing just how important he is to the Hurricanes’ penalty-killing effort.
With tonight’s game postponed, the Hurricanes will next take the ice on Thursday for a match with the Columbus Blue Jackets. If Slavin has tested positive, he’ll miss that game and Saturday’s match against the Vancouver Canucks at a minimum. He could potentially return for next week’s game against Boston, but that is still dependant on him testing out of the protocol in the meantime.
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