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NHL Pauses Islanders Schedule After Another Player Enters COVID Protocol

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NHL Expansion Draft New York Islanders

The NHL has postponed the New York Islanders schedule through Nov. 30 after another New York player entered COVID protocol on Saturday.

The Islanders were supposed to play the New York Rangers on Sunday and Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday before Saturday afternoon’s announcement. The NHL is in the process of revising the New York Islanders schedule.

The Isles could have as many as eight players in COVID protocol, which prompted them to take action, the NHL said in a press release. General manager Lou Lamoriello revealed that Casey Cizikas was the latest Islanders player to test positive for COVID.

“The league, over the past couple of years, certainly has the best infectious disease medical doctors available,” Lamoriello said. “Both the union and the league, plus their own physicians. We have to trust, and we do, their decisions. What goes into these decisions, what statistics allow them to make these conclusions, I’m not privy to that. So, all we can do is respond to what their decisions are, as we have today.”

The Decision comes more than a week after Islanders forward Josh Bailey became the first player to enter protocol. Ross Johnston and Anders Lee were placed in protocol ahead of the Isles’ opener at UBS Arena last Saturday.

As of now, Andy Greene, Zdeno Chara, Adam Pelech and Kieffer Bellows are also still in COVID protocol.

A report earlier in the week suggested that Lamoriello had requested that the league postpone their upcoming games, something which he denied. “I have never asked for games to be postponed,” Lamoriello responded when asked by NYI Hockey Now about the report.

The high number of players impacted by COVID, along with two of the Islanders top players in Brock Nelson and Ryan Pulock out with injury, forced New York to play with a number of players from AHL Bridgeport. The Islanders had six players that had been in the minors in their lineup for Friday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The decimated Isles have lost eight straight games, which began prior to the COVID outbreak.

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