More COVID Problems for Devils

Something I missed from earlier this week. The Devils have placed three more players into the NHL’s COVID protocol.

Nico Hischier, Sami Vatanen and Connor Carrick will join 18 other players “on the COVID-related absence list” according to Amanda Stein.

She said that “they are new additions to the list based on the guidelines outlined by the League and NHLPA.”

The Devils, with three more games postponed this, and next, week, are looking to get back into things on February 16 against the Rangers in Manhattan.

That is the plan, but, of course, these things are fluid at this point and very subject to change. We will see if that target date holds true.

In other news, Stein is also reporting (today), that Josh Jacobs has been recalled to the taxi squad and Gilles Senn and Kevin Bahl have been assigned to Binghamton. Mikhail Maltsev has also been assigned to the taxi squad.

Jacobs comes to the taxi squad from AHL Binghamton. Their season just began on Monday, but according to Stein, Jacobs has NHL experience, having participated in three NHL games since 2018-19.

Bahl goes to Binghamton from the taxi squad, as does goaltender Senn.

Maltsev goes to the taxi squad from the main NHL roster according to Stein. He played on January 31 in the win over Buffalo (the Devils’ last game in about two weeks due to the COVID situation).

More Devils Games Postponed

The NHL announced this afternoon that three more Devils games have been postponed in addition to two Buffalo Sabres games and two Minnesota Wild games.

These teams have been seeing more players placed into COVID-19 protocol than other teams in the league.

According to a news release put out by the NHL, “a decision on when the three teams can resume practice an game play will be made by the medical groups of the NHL, NHL Players’ Association and each team in the coming days.”

The Devils games versus the Flyers on February 11 and 13 and the Bruins on February 15 have been postponed. New Jersey was supposed to resume play on the 11th. Three previous games had been postponed through February 6.

The Devils currently have Nate Bastian, Jesper Bratt, Nikita Gusev, Jack Hughes, Andreas Johnsson, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod, Kyle Palmieri, Yegor Sharangovich, Pavel Zacha, Travis Zajac, Dmitry Kulikov, Damon Severson, Ty Smith, Matt Tennyson and Eric Comrie in protocol. The team’s practice and team facilities have been shut down since the first of this month.

The press release notes that neither the Devils nor the Sabres have played since January 31, a 5-3 Devils win. Buffalo’s facilities have been shut down since February 2.

The presser also notes that the NHL has had to postpone 31 games during the current season. Two Dallas Stars games were postponed before the season began.