The Calgary Flames’ COVID-19 outbreak has gotten a bit worse. Per the club, three additional players have entered the COVID-19 protocol: Noah Hanifin, Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan.
#Flames Roster Update: Noah Hanifin, Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 14, 2021
This trio gives the Flames nine players (so far) who have entered the protocol. Six players – Elias Lindhom, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev – entered the protocol along with a staff member, as announced on Monday.
Assuming that the first six players tested positive on Sunday and these additional three tested positive on Monday, the earliest any of them could exit the protocol (and be available for games or practice) would be Dec. 22 for the original six and Dec. 23 fro the additional three.
The positive tests span all four forward lines and all three defensive pairings that played against Boston on Saturday night. So far, only the goaltenders and the healthy scratches have avoided entering the protocol – and let’s hope that trend continues.
This guarantees that those six players won’t be available for Calgary’s next game, currently scheduled for Saturday at home against Columbus. But with the Flames close to capped out and likely having to play short three or four players due to those cap reasons even before these three players were added to the protocol, that number swells to six or seven players short.
The cap gymnastics for the Flames navigating the next few weeks are challenging, but not necessarily insurmountable.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops.
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