Vancouver Canucks Brought to a Standstill by the Pandemic

At least 16 players and a coach are on the N.H.L.’s Covid-19 protocol list, and the team has postponed four games because of the virus.

By Gerald Narciso

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The N.H.L.’s Covid-19 protocols have sidelined more than half of the Vancouver Canucks, as well as one member of the coaching staff, an extraordinary impact of the coronavirus on a sports team.

The Canucks have not played a game in nearly two weeks. At least 16 players are on the league’s protocol list after testing positive, including forward Marc Michaelis and defenseman Jalen Chatfield, who were added on Sunday. An N.H.L. roster is typically 23 players. The protocol list is based on testing and contact tracing.

The players have reported symptoms including fever, fatigue and mild headaches, as reported by The Vancouver Province. Members of the players’ immediate families and team staff have also been affected, according to reports, which is believed to be the Brazilian P.1 variant of Covid-19, a first in the N.H.L.

“Finally made it to the couch after two days,” one Canucks player told a local journalist.

Four games have already been postponed with more expected. The Canucks, who last played on March 24 in a home loss against the Jets, are prohibited from practicing until April 6 at the earliest and are restricted from playing games until April 8, when they are scheduled to play the Flames on the road. At press time, that game has not been canceled.

On Sunday, Jim Benning, the Canucks general manager, released a statement expressing gratitude for the well wishes from fans as well as acknowledging the organizations that have provided medical support to the club. “We hope for a return to full health as soon as possible,” the statement read. “Our focus continues to be the health of everyone involved.”

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