The trickle of players in COVID protocol is turning into a flood. Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron was one of the big names placed in COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday. Members of the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators were also among the positive cases.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 15, 2021
Patrice Bergeon Joins List in COVID Protocol
The veteran centre joins the growing list of names that are temporarily on the shelf. Bruins teammates Brad Marchand and Craig Smith were placed in protocol on Tuesday. Bergeron has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 25 games this season. His Corsi for is 62.4 and has a relative Corsi of 15.2
Bergeron has only played for the Bruins in his 18-year NHL career. The Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec native has 385 goals and 555 assists for 940 points in 1,168 games. Boston originally drafted Bergeron in the second round, 45th overall of the 2003 NHL Draft.
What it Means
The NHL and other pro sports leagues are facing a gigantic problem. Calgary joined the Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders in having games postponed. Players like Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis and Elias Lindholm are trapped in Vancouver after testing positive.
The NBA, NFL and English Premier League are all seeing a rise in cases with the new Omicron variant coming into play. However, the good news is all but one player is vaccinated and that helps ease the symptoms in most people.
All the leagues will have to consider strong action to stem them tide. The last thing the league wants to do is pause the season, but the league needs to do something. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported that doctors from the NHL and NHLPA had a conference call, but results aren’t known at this time.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan adds that there’s no desire to pause the season. However, there will be discussions on stiffening protocols to last year’s levels, which required testing every day.
This may also hamper the NHL’s participation in the Beijing Olympics. Many of the players want to go, but the virus may threaten that or force other alternatives.