Raleigh, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes have confirmed they will play on Thursday night at home against the Detroit Red Wings despite the COVID-19 outbreak that has six players in quarantine.
The announcement comes after Carolina’s game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night was postponed. It was the NHL’s ninth postponement of this season because of COVID-19 concerns.
The team, which is fully vaccinated, will be tested twice on Thursday — once before the morning skate at 10:30 a.m. and then again before the game. If anyone tests positive, the game could be in jeopardy. The Canes will already be short two players of a full roster.
Before the outbreak, protocol required a negative test every 72 hours.
The Hurricanes did not have any players test positive on Wednesday.
“I talked to our team doctor last night and he said the next 72 hours would probably be this run of this current virus that’s in our locker room,” Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell said. “If we can get through the next couple days, that doesn’t mean something else isn’t going to pop up with the other [variant], but this current one running through our locker room will hopefully be gone.”
Hurricanes players Sebastin Aho, Seth Jarvis, Ian Cole, Steven Lorentz, Jordan Staal and Andrei Svechnikov have tested positive for COVID-19. A member of the team’s training staff is also in the NHL’s health and safety protocol.
According to the protocol agreed to by the league and the Players Association, the Cole, Lorentz, Staal and Svechnikov will serve out their quarantine in Minnesota, where they tested positive ahead of the scheduled game with the Wild. Aho, Jarvis and the trainer are in isolation in Canada, where they got their positive test on Monday.
Although the announcement is a positive development, the Hurricanes are holding their breath along with several teams throughout the league as they navigate another surge in COVID cases. On Monday, the NHL postponed three upcoming games for the Calgary Flames, after the team announced that forwards Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson and Adam Ruzicka, defensemen Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov and a staffer were in the protocol. Multiple NFL teams are dealing with a rise in players contracting COVID as well.
This week marks the third time the Hurricanes have dealt with COVID issues. Earlier this season, defenseman Ethan Bear tested positive before the team’s game at San Jose. He missed six games before he was able to return. Later, Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo entered COVID protocol, and each have sat out the last seven games. Both were set to return against the Wild prior to the postponement.
“We’re making lots of decisions today and, hopefully, we’ll be ready to go regardless of what our lineup is,” Waddell said. “You’ll find out pretty quick what your depth’s like. It’s not the way I really wanted to test our depth but it is what it is and we’re gonna play the game and we’re gonna try to win the game.”
The Hurricanes just finished a Canadian leg of a road trip where they played in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Carolina has scheduled games at PNC Arena this weekend against Los Angeles and Nashville. Those games are still scheduled to be played as of Wednesday.