It started with one game for the Carolina Hurricanes, but more are expected to come… On Tuesday, the Canes’ contest against the Predators in Nashville was postponed after five players, Jordan Staal, Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jaccob Slavin and Teuvo Teravainen, were placed on the NHL’s COVID Protocol list.
The team is next scheduled to play on Thursday at home against the Florida Panthers and according to insider Pierre LeBrun, who shared the information provider by Canes insider Luke DeCock, the entire series against the Panthers will be postponed as well.
This will be the second time already in the first weeks of the season that the Panthers’ calendar is affected by rival teams dealing with COVID outbreaks. The Panthers saw their fist two games of the campaign getting postponed after 17 players of the Dallas Stars were placed on the NHL’s COVID Protocol list. The Stars have yet to start the season, with their opener set to take place on Friday. It’s a good thing the contest between the Canes and the Predators didn’t take place as, ironically, the Preds are scheduled to visit the Stars on Friday for Dallas’ delayed season opener.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, since the Hurricanes were on the road, NHL protocols “require any individuals with confirmed positive tests while travelling to stay behind and observe a 10-day isolation period at the team hotel.”
This is already a tight schedule for the NHL, who’s focused on getting the 56-game schedule and having the playoffs wrapped up before mid-July in order to respect the coverage agreement for the Olympics. We can’t imagine how tough it will be to do so if more games get postponed like this in just the first two weeks of action!
UPDATE: The NHL made it official hours later.