A 17th Vancouver Canucks player tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday as the franchise continues to grapple with an outbreak that's kept the club on pause since March 24, according to The Athletic.
Two taxi squad players and three coaches remain in COVID-19 protocol, bringing the total number of positive tests within the organization to 22 as of Tuesday.
The NHL has confirmed Alex Edler, Adam Gaudette, Marc Michaelis, Travis Hamonic, Jayce Hawyrluk, Jalen Chatfield, Braden Holtby, Bo Horvat, Travis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Quinn Hughes, Zack MacEwen, Tyler Motte, Tyler Myers, Brandon Sutter and Antoine Roussel are all in the protocol. The league continues to operate under the assumption the entire team will test positive, per The Athletic, and there is no definitive date for the team to resume activities.
Vancouver was scheduled to practice Tuesday but Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the team may not even be back on the ice before April 16.
The Athletic's Thomas Drance noted it's unclear if the league will be able to make up all of the team's postponed games before the regular season's expected conclusion on May 11.
Complicating matters further from a hockey-operations standpoint is the April 12 trade deadline, before which the Canucks were expected to become sellers. Vancouver (16-18-3, 35 points) remains eight points back of the Montreal Canadiens for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division and may not be able to catch any of the teams above.
"I wonder if the NHL pushes the two games against the Senators and the four against the Flames to the back end. Those four games against Calgary, at least, could be played after May 11 in the event that they have playoff implications, and otherwise the club's lottery odds could be determined by point percentage. Hard to see how Vancouver gets to 56 games played at this point, without significantly pushing the playoff schedule further into the future for a team that wasn't likely to factor into them anyway."
Contingency plans are reportedly being prepared should Vancouver need a number of AHL call-ups from the team's affiliate in Utica before the Canucks' next game, which would require a cross-border quarantine upon arriving in Canada.