The Canucks launched a press release Wednesday saying 21 gamers, together with three on the taxi squad, plus 4 workers members, “have examined constructive and the supply an infection is confirmed a variant.” Which variant has not been confirmed.On Tuesday, when the Canucks had 18 gamers on the COVID-19 protocol record, an NHL spokesman mentioned “a 56-game season remains to be the main focus,” however if crucial the league has some flexibility on scheduling the opening of the playoffs. Requested Wednesday if something had modified following the Canucks’ announcement, the spokesman mentioned, “my reply is similar because it was yesterday.”
An NHL agent mentioned he had heard nothing about any plans to cancel video games.
“Up to now it seems like they are going to push ahead primarily based on what I am listening to,” the agent mentioned.
WATCH | Considerations intensify amid Canucks’ rising outbreak:
Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious illness doctor for St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, mentioned research have proven individuals affected by the totally different variants “will get better on tempo,” however relying on the severity of the virus — skilled gamers might have further time to regain their conditioning.
“They could be out of quarantine in 10 days, however loads of gamers might not return after they’re thought-about clear,” he mentioned. “They could really need a couple of weeks to get again to hockey regular.”
The Canucks’ state of affairs is difficult as a result of so many gamers have contracted the virus.
“When you’ve got an outbreak of 5 – 6 [players] you may fill within the gaps, you may look forward to a few of your gamers to situation correctly,” Chagla mentioned. “At 21 gamers, that is 21 totally different gamers that have to situation correctly, that is 21 gamers that have to get again into form, recover from their COVID and heal.”
Recovering from the virus is totally different from rehabbing after a sports activities damage.
“[A] lot of those guys, it seems like, had been in mattress at dwelling,” Chagla mentioned. “You are shedding muscle mass; you are shedding that elite form.”
WATCH | Vancouver Canucks sidelined by COVID-19:
When the primary Canuck participant examined constructive final week, Vancouver’s subsequent 4 video games had been postponed. The Canucks had been scheduled to return to play Thursday in Calgary towards the Flames. The Canucks’ web site now says that recreation and one other on Saturday in Calgary have been postponed.
The NHL season was initially scheduled to finish Might 8 however has already been prolonged to Might 11 to permit for beforehand postponed video games.
The Canucks have 19 common season video games remaining.
The price of doing enterprise
Corey Hirsch, a former NHL goaltender who’s now a member of the Canucks’ radio broadcast crew, worries in regards to the bodily pressure compelled on gamers if they’re anticipated to play their remaining video games in a condensed time frame after overcoming the virus.
“You might be speaking about the entire crew,” he mentioned. “You are not solely speaking about one man. My query could be if they’re vulnerable to damage due to the bodily form they’re in.”
Moshe Lander, a senior lecturer within the economics of sports activities, gaming and playing at Concordia College in Montreal, mentioned the Canucks’ state of affairs is a results of the NHL “not effervescent up for a season.”
“The NHL has accepted that is the price of doing enterprise,” mentioned Lander.
Delaying the beginning of the playoffs creates issues for groups within the different three divisions, Lander mentioned. The league additionally will not need the playoffs extending into late July due to the Tokyo Summer time Video games.
Final 12 months’s playoffs, which included a play-in spherical, started Aug. 1 and ended Sept. 28.
Lander predicts Vancouver would possibly solely play 50 video games, which is able to influence different groups within the NHL’s North Division.
“A complete bunch of Canuck video games are going to be cancelled, not going to be made up,” he mentioned. “You are cancelling video games towards the Oilers, or the Canadiens, or [other teams] which can be playoff-bound so their rating system goes to be disrupted.
“The NHL has protocols in place to find out tiebreakers. I am assuming it is simply going to be greatest successful proportion. All people has performed sufficient video games at this level that you’ve got an inexpensive sufficient pattern measurement to know who [the playoff teams] are.”
Even earlier than the virus struck, Vancouver confronted an uphill battle to make the playoffs.
Heading into Wednesday night time, the Canucks (16-18-3) trailed Montreal by eight factors for the ultimate playoff spot within the North Division.