Canucks' Shutdown Reportedly Will Last Longer Than Expected After COVID-19 Outbreak

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 3, 2021

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 31: A rink attendant pushes a game net off the ice after the NHL game between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks was postponed due to a positive COVID test result of a player at Rogers Arena on March 31, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

News emerged Saturday that 14 Vancouver Canucks players are on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list after seven more were added Saturday, per NHL.com's Mike Battaglino.

The Canucks' season is already paused through Tuesday after two players and a coach landed on the list, but Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported Saturday that the expectation is it will be even longer, noting that 16 players and three coaches are affected.

LeBrun also reported on the league's potential contingency plans in light of the Canucks' extended pause:

Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun

Via sources, here is the latest on the Canucks outbreak. Again, hockey is secondary. <br>There are 16 players and three coaches currently affected but that list is likely to grow. <br>More developments ⤵️@TSNHockey @TheAthletic pic.twitter.com/sAoh5ghJUc

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet previously reported who the first 14 players on the list were earlier Saturday:

Chris Johnston @reporterchris

There are now 14 #canucks on the NHL's COVID Protocol list with Travis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Jayce Hawryluk, Bo Horvat, Tyler Motte, Tyler Myers and Brandon Sutter joining Alex Edler, Adam Gaudette, Travis Hamonic, Braden Holtby, Quinn Hughes, Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel.

The NHL initially postponed a March 31 game between the Canucks and Calgary Flames after two Vancouver players and one coach were placed on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list.

The league then followed up with a statement that the Canucks' next three games through April 6 would also be postponed as a result.

Currently, Vancouver's next scheduled game is Friday against Calgary. If they don't play at all next week as LeBrun posited, then the next matchup on the ledger is April 12 against the Edmonton Oilers.

However, the Canucks' season status obviously pales in comparison to the health of the players as the clear majority of the roster finds itself on the COVID-19 protocol list.