NHL players haven’t been tested for COVID by their teams since they left for their holiday break but a handful of players still entered COVID protocol in recent days. Teams are set to return for testing at 2 PM local time today with practices to follow soon after but before even getting to that point, the Maple Leafs announced (Twitter link) that defenseman Jake Muzzin has been placed in protocol.
The 32-year-old has had a quiet year by his standards offensively, notching just one goal and eight assists in 30 games. However, he’s second on the team in ice time per game at 21:24 per game; only fellow blueliner Morgan Rielly plays more and he just recently entered protocol as well.
In fact, Toronto is now up to 14 players that are currently ineligible to play with Muzzin out for at least the next 10 days. Some of the earlier placements will soon be able to return but after quarantining for that long, they will need a few days to get their conditioning back to game readiness. Accordingly, while the Maple Leafs are next set to play against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, it’s hard to envision that game going forward. More updates for the schedule across the league are expected later today.