The Calgary Flames’ first real COVID-19 outbreak has led to the postponement of the team’s next three games.
That includes one of the most anticipated local games of the season. The Flames were booked to host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Saddledome on Thursday.
About to head to Chicago for the first of back to back road games Monday and Tuesday, the Flames decided not to travel on Sunday. They were also scheduled to visit the Nashville Predators.
The risk of lengthy quarantines in the event of more positive tests was too great. The border crossing and return to Canada further complicated things.
The Calgary Flames Twitter account announced that Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, and a member of the training staff all entered COVID-19 protocol.
“As a result of six Calgary Flames Players and one staff member entering the NHL’s COVID Protocol within a 24-hour period, concern with continued spread, and the likelihood of additional positive cases in the coming days, the team’s games will be postponed at least through Thursday, Dec. 16,” the NHL said in a release.
“The decision was made following consultation by the NHL’s, the NHLPA’s and club’s medical groups.”
Calgary Flames players isolating at home
Players are isolating at home and the team has closed its training facilities until further notice.
“The Flames organization has followed, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, provincial and national agencies,” the Calgary Flames said in their release.
These postponements bring the total to eight NHL games the league has had to move this season because of COVID. Three involved the Ottawa Senators and two for the New York Islanders.
The Flames lost 4-2 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday and the Bruins had some notable absences from practice today.
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron not present at practice today. Neither is Linus Ullmark, which is why Rask is practicing. Looks like a few other bodies may be missing, but Nosek & Carlo were out there
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 13, 2021
There is a 10-day minimum quarantine in Alberta. That suggests the team would be without those six players if they are able to play their scheduled home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.