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Islanders COVID-19 Issues are Back Following Latest Round of Tests

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New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello

The NHL and their teams returned from their Christmas break on Sunday in hopes that the mini-pause would alleviate the league-wide COVID-19 outbreak. That was not the case for the Islanders on Sunday, as before their evening practice, forwards Cal Clutterbuck, Anthony Beauvillier, Zach Parise, and Oliver Wahlstrom were placed in COVID-19 protocol.

Cole Bardreau, Simon Holmstrom, and Grant Hutton were added to the taxi squad, which is now back in place from now through the NHL All-star Game in early February.

Mat Barzal has been activated off COVID-19 protocol. Matt Martin and Robin Salo will be activated on Wednesday, Dec. 29.

As for the game scheduled for Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello and his team are preparing to play.

“Every indication we have, we will be playing,” Lamoriello said.  “We have no indication that we will not be playing.”

Detroit was dealing with their own COVID-19 nightmare prior to the pause of play with 11 players on the NHL’s COVID List, along with a couple of coaches but Lamoriello reiterated that, as of now, that game is to be played.

Upon the start of the Christmas break, the NHL and the NHLPA agreed that before re-entering team facilities Sunday (after 2 PM local time), all players must produce a negative rapid COVID-19 test.

Both parties have added new rules to help teams combat positive tests in order to allow for games to occur without roster issues getting in the way.

If teams are short 12 forwards/six defenseman due to COVID-19, teams can make an emergency recall with a salary up to $1 million. If a team is short players for two games for any reason, teams can recall. Lastly, a team can add a third goalie to the roster if two are unavailable.

None of the Islanders added to the COVID-19 protocol list on Sunday had tested positive this season. Beauvillier missed the home-opener at UBS Arena due to being placed in protocol, but the result was a false positive.

Lamoriello did announce, none COVID-19 related, that Ryan Pulock is skating on his own. There is no timetable for his return.

 

 

 

 

 

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