When the Calgary Flames headed into their holiday break, 20 players were in the league’s COVID-19 protocol. As of Sunday afternoon, there was only one remaining: Dan Vladar.
From all accounts, Sunday’s practice was a fairly routine affair (albeit a short one by team standards).
The biggest news was who was in attendance: just about everybody. 18 of the 20 players who had been placed into the COVID-19 protocol the prior week were on the ice. Only absent were Vladar and Tyler Pitlick, who is reportedly still working his way back from an injury that pre-dated his time on the protocol.
The Flames had a lot of individuals entered into the protocol this month:
  • Dec. 13: Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov
  • Dec. 14: Noah Hanifin, Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan
  • Dec. 15: Rasmus Andersson, Byron Froese, Johnny Gaudreau, Erik Gudbranson, Trevor Lewis, Jacob Markström and Tyler Pitlick (and coaches Darryl Sutter, Kirk Muller and Ryan Huska)
  • Dec. 16: Dillon Dube and Oliver Kylington
  • Dec. 17: Mikael Backlund
  • Dec. 21: Dan Vladar
Per Darryl Sutter, Vladar is expected to return to practice on Monday.
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Based on our understanding of the protocol, players with confirmed positive tests are required to isolate for 10 days from the date of their original positive test. Vladar is exiting the protocol six days after the announcement of him being in the protocol, which is similar to how Michael Stone’s time in the protocol was handled back in October. We’re guessing Vladar’s situation in the protocol was probably a little bit different than his teammates’ were – we’re unclear how and we don’t want to delve too deep into players’ personal medical info – and if he’s exiting it’s with provincial public health’s blessing and sign-off.
As of Sunday night, the Flames are still scheduled to play in Seattle on Dec. 30 and at home against Winnipeg on Dec. 31. We’ll see if those games unfold as originally scheduled, especially with international travel involved.
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