The Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, and the Florida Panthers have added players to the NHL COVID protocol list on January 18th. Blake Coleman, Adam Erne, Robby Fabbri, Juho Lammikko, and Markus Nutivaara are out of their respective teams until further notice.
Blake Coleman (TB), Adam Erne (DET), Robby Fabbri (DET), Juho Lammikko (FLA) and Markus Nutivaara (FLA) were added to the NHL's COVID Protocol list today.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 18, 2021
NHL COVID Protocol List
Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the NHL has developed a protocol to prevent any mass contamination on players and staff. According to the league, a player can be added to the COVID protocol list for a number of reasons including an initial positive that has not been confirmed with an additional test; mandatory isolation due to symptoms; high-risk contact with a person who has tested positive; isolation due to a positive test and/or quarantine for travel or other reasons, among others.
The protocol also tells players to avoid contact with the general public. The players are added to the list as a precautionary action and not necessarily have tested positive to COVID. The NHL updates the COVID protocol list for all 31 teams on a daily basis. Players are added or taken from the list every day as well.
Of course, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Before the season even started, four teams suspended their practices due to potential COVID exposure. Players had left for their countries during the off-season. No one knew when the 2020-21 season would start. With the absence of a bubble and teams having to travel from place to place for the games, there will be positive tests.
The league is trying to do the best job they can with the circumstances. But without a bubble, there’s really so much they or the teams can do to protect their players and staff. Players will be in and out of the protocol list and the teams will have to adapt as best as they can.