The Vancouver Canucks are gearing up for their return to play on Friday, as the team removed nine players from the NHL's COVID-19 list on Wednesday.
Trevis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Braden Holtby, Bo Horvat, Marc Michaelis, Tyler Motte, Tyler Myers, Antoine Roussel and Brandon Sutter were the latest players to come off of the list (h/t Joshua Clipperton of the Canadian Press).
There are still seven players under the designation.
The Canucks haven't played since March 24 as a COVID-19 outbreak spread through the organization, with 22 players and four staff members testing positive for the virus, according to Tim Campbell of NHL.com.
The Canucks had eight total games postponed over the 11-day span.
On Monday, the team had 10 players skate on their first day back on the ice, per.
"Some guys feel really good and they're ready to go," general manager Jim Benning said. "Other guys are still feeling some residual effects of the COVID. But the next step for them is to start working out, getting on the ice and getting back in shape to play again."
Benning said coach Travis Green was among the players affected, while forward Tanner Pearson was able to avoid any issues.
"Obviously I've stayed on the right side of it," Pearson said. "For the most part, our team hasn't. I've talked to most guys that got it, array of symptoms, some are still battling them, so hopefully that gets in a positive way better soon."
Forward J.T. Miller voiced his concerns about resuming the season with so many players still affected:
When their season picks back up on Friday, the Canucks will play their 19 remaining games in 31 days, concluding the year on May 16. That is eight days after the scheduled NHL regular-season end date of May 8, but the league has had to deal with 49 postponements due to COVID-19 protocols since the start of the year.
The Canucks are currently in sixth place in the North Division, 10 points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the final playoff spot.