More players and staff were put into COVID protocol on Thursday, and more postponements are just around the corner for the Calgary Flames. It might be the same situation in Boston soon as the Bruins saw more additions to their list. Meanwhile, it seems like the Vegas Golden Knights are in on every NHL trade rumour these days. Sounds like they may be going hard on Evander Kane. In other news, they’ve hired a magician to help them with their salary cap situation once Jack Eichel is healthy. And to figure out how to pull Kane out of a hat.
Calgary Flames players Dillon Dube and Oliver Kylington entered the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol on Thursday. So did another member of the support staff. The total is now 18 players and more than 30 people in the organization overall.
It was also confirmed that the Omicron variant is present among the Flames tests.
Test results have confirmed #Flames do have some cases of Omicron variant. It takes several days to confirm the strain of any positive, but there is Omicron present. That shouldn't come as a surprise, given the rapid spread.
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) December 16, 2021
Instead of opening a five-game home stand against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, the Flames were awaiting more news from the NHL on when they might be able to return to the ice.
NHL trade chatter, news and National Hockey Now
Sportsnet: The Chicago Blackhawks and Kyle Beach finally reached a settlement. Big news getting buried by the COVID stuff.
Vegas: The Vegas Golden Knights are rolling. They have Jack Eichel on the way and now they’re scouting Evander Kane, another scoring threat?
San Jose: Speaking of Kane, he scored his first-ever AHL goal on Wednesday.
Boston: The COVID beat goes on for the Bruins. Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic and goalie Jeremy Swayman joined Craig Smith, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron in COVID Protocol Thursday morning days after their game with the Calgary Flames. Two Bruins staff members as well.
Pittsburgh: Any NHL fan had to love Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin giving his longtime nemesis and rival, Marc-Andre Fleury, a smiley standing ovation when the Chicago Blackhawks held a pre-game tribute to Fleury for reaching 500 wins in the NHL recently.
Washington: Speaking of Ovechkin, he tied another record in a 5-4 overtime loss for the Caps to the Blackhawks Wednesday.
Florida: Will the Florida Panthers game against the Los Angeles Kings get postponed due to the growing number of Panthers being placed in COVID protocol?
Detroit: With the Omicron variant ravaging the NHL, many players have grown skeptical of going to China for the Games. Add Detroit Red Wings captain and potential U.S. Olympian Dylan Larkin to that list.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings are putting their faith in the NHL with the league letting them play the Carolina Hurricanes, who have been slammed by COVID this week.
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Montreal: Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry was correct in speaking out about the lack of structure the Habs have on the ice this season but his timing may have been off.
Toronto: Ontario rinks are being forced to drop to 50 per cent capacity so it’s a good thing the Toronto Maple Leafs are still on the road still enjoying the feeling of beating Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. The Calgary Flames and Leafs were scheduled at the Saddledome on Thursday.
Vancouver: The Canucks are supposed to play San Jose on Thursday but there was some hesitancy ahead of their short trip because of their COVID cases.