EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — On Tuesday New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello revealed there was one member of the organization who wouldn’t be at training camp because they wouldn’t get vaccinated. On Thursday, it became apparent that the player was Bode Wilde.
Wilde was not listed on the team’s training camp roster, which was released on Thursday morning, and Islanders head coach Barry Trotz later confirmed that he was not there due to his vaccination status. The Islanders prospect also appeared to confirm it in a comment on his Instagram page.
“Hoping my human rights are enough to let me play… what a world,” Bode Wilde wrote in response to a fan comment on his social media page.
The Islanders are looking to place Bode Wilde with another team to help continue his development. Lamoriello said that the organization was eying a European club.
“We respect everybody who has their choice, the freedom of choice, which Bode exercised in terms of the vaccination,” Trotz said after practice. “We respect that. I do know this, he’s going to play hockey and we’re just trying to find him the best place that he can continue to develop. We think he’s a pretty good prospect. There’s no issues at all other than just like every company we have rules and he doesn’t quite fit in or believe in that.
“We respect that. That’s a human right and that’s fine, but we do believe we have to put him in a really good spot so he can continue to develop.”
The Islanders have taken a hardline stance when it comes to players and staff being vaccinated. Lamoriello told reporters on Tuesday that he wouldn’t let any players that weren’t vaccinated play for the organization.
While the number of unvaccinated players in the NHL is small, there are several out there. Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings has refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine shot and called the decision a “life choice.”
Bertuzzi will be unable to play in any of Detroit’s nine games in Canada this season and will forfeit his salary from the games he will miss.