The Pittsburgh Penguins have decided to sideline nine players from training camp after they were potentially exposed to an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19. The players will now go through the NHL’s protocol to be deemed safe to return before taking part in training camp. The team did not release the names of the players who have been held out because of this exposure.
These kinds of restrictions will likely happen in several camps as teams prepare for the upcoming playoff tournament. Today the league announced that 43 players have now tested positive for COVID-19, including 30 that were taking part in Phase 2 activities. Players all around the league are being deemed “unfit to participate” in camp, though that does not necessarily indicate coronavirus-induced absences. In Washington for instance, Michal Kempny, Alexander Alexeyev, and Ilya Samsonov were all absent from Capitals practice, but the team did not provide any specifics as to why.
- For the Philadelphia Flyers, one important player will be absent from the entire training camp and playoffs, but it isn’t due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nolan Patrick was not listed on the team’s training camp roster after missing the entire season with a migraine disorder, and Flyers GM Cliff Fletcher told reporters including Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the focus for their young forward is getting healthy enough for 2020-21. Patrick, the second overall pick in 2017, has played 145 regular season games to this point in his career and has 61 points. The 21-year old will also be a restricted free agent this offseason.
- One player that is at Philadelphia training camp is Shayne Gostisbehere, despite apparently undergoing knee surgery seven weeks ago. Gostisbehere revealed the surgery to reporters today, indicating that it was an arthroscopic procedure. That may sound familiar to Flyers fans, as the 27-year old defenseman had a similar procedure in January but while that surgery was on his left knee, this was his right. Gostisbehere’s production fell off a cliff this season as he scored just 12 points in 42 games after amassing 187 through his first four seasons in the NHL. As he hopes to be ready for the tournament, the team will have some tough decisions on who to ice on defense once they find out who they’re up against. The Flyers are one of four teams that will play a round-robin to determine seeding before matching up against one of the qualification round winners.