The Pittsburgh Penguins have taken a big hit on the first day of training camp.
According to an official announcement from the Penguins via their social media platforms, the team has been forced to sit a whopping 9 players due to risks associated with potential exposure to COVID-19. Now to be clear as far as we know none of the players involved in this story have themselves tested positive for the virus, but there is a risk that they were exposed to the virus through secondary exposure, and for that reason the team has decided to pull them out of training camp. An individual that had contacted with someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19 came into contact with the players, and this is where the risk of potential exposure to the virus stems from.
The Penguins report that they learned of this development only yesterday, Sunday July 12th, and have stressed that this measure stems from an abundance of caution on the part of the organization. The move is clearly designed to eliminate the possibility of widespread contamination among the organization's players and although this may be somewhat of an extreme measure you have to tip your hat to the Penguins here for going the extra mile in an effort to preserve the integrity of the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The 9 players who have been pulled from the line up are now ineligible to participate in training camp and will remain so until they have gone through the protocols laid out in Phase 3 of the league's Return to Play initiative, and until they have undergone further testing to make sure they are no longer a risk to their teammates or their opponents.
It comes at a bad time for a Penguins team that is set to play the Montreal Canadiens in the play in series of the Stanley Cup Qualifying round beginning on August 1st, but the Habs are facing their own problems here as well. On Sunday night news leaked out indicating that 3 players from the Canadiens roster had tested positive over the past few days, so it seems like both teams are heading into training camp with some clear disadvantages.