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COVID hits nearly half Flames active roster as positive numbers rise around NHL

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Calgary Flames Brad Treliving

After battling each other on the ice last week, the Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks are all now engaged in their own bouts with COVID-19.

While the Flames announced on Tuesday another three players tested positive after six went into protocol on Monday, the Hurricanes had their game against the Minnesota Wild cancelled when Jordan Staal, Andrei Svechnikov, Steven Lorentz and Ian Cole entered protocol one day after Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis and a member of the training staff tested positive.

Noah Hanifin, Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan joined Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, and a member of the training staff on the Flames list on Tuesday.

The Canes played the Flames last Thursday at the Saddledome.

Bruins players Brad Marchand and Craig Smith were added to the list days after their date in Calgary.

And the Canucks also recently hosted both teams.

The NHL is going to provide an update on the outbreaks on Wednesday, but as of now, Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving is ready for anything.

“As we’ve all learned over the past couple of years, you stay limber and nimble and prepared to pivot. Right now, we’re postponed through Thursday,” Treliving said in a Zoom availability. “I don’t want to make any proclamations about what’s going to happen tomorrow, never mind Saturday.

“When you look around, a lot of other teams in the league have dealt with it, a lot of different sports. And hey, we’re not immune to what society is dealing with. This is unfortunately part of the world we live in today. Unfortunately, now we’re dealing with it. We’ll go through this and we will get out on the other side of it, at some point.”

Hard to imagine Calgary Flames returning to ice for Saturday

It’s unlikely the Flames will be playing on Saturday if any more positive tests are returned on Wednesday. As it is, every line and defensive pairing that played in their loss to the Bruins has been impacted. Half of that lineup is now forced to isolate for at least 10 days – assuming none are symptomatic.

The earliest the Flames can return to the ice is Friday, but Treliving isn’t worried about what that looks like yet.

“Of that group that tested positive, obviously there’s wives, there’s girlfriends, there’s kids attached to those players. So you’re worried about everybody. That’s just how it is. But so far, they’re doing well,” said Treliving.

“The No. 1 priority for everybody is the health and safety of our players, their families, those close to them, everybody impacted. We have a great medical team. Our people know, whatever they need, we will get provided for them. Let’s not lose sight that everything else is a distant second to that.”

The Calgary Flames outbreak is the largest in the NHL at the moment, but positive tests are popping up league wide. In the past 36 hours alone, we’ve seen 23 players test positive around the league.

“At what point is it determined getting them together you’re not putting them at further risk for spread? It’s too early to say. That will be determined by doctors,” Treliving said.

“We’ll see how the rest of the week unfolds.”

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