The New York Islanders will not have Barry Trotz behind the bench when the team takes on the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, as the head coach has been placed in the COVID protocol. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there as Ryan Pulock has also found his way to the protocol today despite being injured.
Pulock hasn’t played since the middle of November as he deals with a lower-body injury, but now won’t even be able to get on the ice to rehab for the next little while. The loss of the 27-year-old defenseman has been one of the biggest problems for the Islanders this season. After receiving Norris Trophy votes and Olympic consideration, Pulock has played in just 12 games so far.
The COVID announcements don’t end there. The Chicago Blackhawks have placed Jake McCabe and head athletic trainer Mike Gapski in the protocol, according to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. Jakub Galvas has been recalled from the taxi squad to take McCabe’s place and could be making his NHL debut should he get into the lineup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Galvas, 22, is in his first year of North American hockey after several years in Czechia and Finland. Through 20 games with the Rockford IceHogs, the fifth-round pick has six points but has shown enough to earn this recall to the NHL squad. While perhaps not a full-time solution at this point, filling in for a few days while McCabe goes through his isolation period shouldn’t be an issue.