While the New York Islanders were holding their pregame media availability on Tuesday, word was spreading that Sidney Crosby would be placed on the NHL COVID protocol list.
The Pittsburgh Penguins also canceled their morning skate on Tuesday as part of the COVID-19 protocols. They are still scheduled to face the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Islanders hosted Pittsburgh on Sunday at the Nassau Coliseum, where they defeated their Steel City rival 2-0. Michael Dal Colle was the only Islanders player made available to the media prior to their game with New Jersey on Tuesday and had been unaware of the developments prior to stepping to the podium.
“That’s news to me. I wasn’t aware of that,” Dal Colle said when asked by a reporter for a reaction to the news. “Obviously with the COVID protocols, I don’t know if the league is going to step in or something like that. We can only focus on what we’re doing here. We’re ready for a game tonight and it’s a big one.”
Being placed on the COVID protocol list does not mean that a player has tested positive and there are a variety of reasons why one would end up on the list.
The Islanders have managed to keep their team COVID free since the start of the season. Josh Bailey was briefly placed on the COVID protocol list last month after his son received a false-positive result.
The only direct impact that the virus has had on the team this season was in February when a pair of games against the Buffalo Sabres were postponed and rescheduled due to an outbreak on Buffalo.