I can’t imagine what the Vancouver Canucks have gone through these past few weeks. Mired in a COVID-19 outbreak that has affected players, staff, and all their families, the team has been told to get back on the ice on Friday only one week after 25 people, including 21 players, in the organization tested positive for the virus.
At a press conference, forward JT Miller said enough is enough, and said outright that the Canucks are not capable of playing right now. There have been reports of this all week, but Miller said outright that teammates who contracted the respiratory virus have struggled to breathe after walking up stairs.
There is major concern over the health and safety of the players and their families; Travis Hamonic opted out of the playoff bubble last summer because of his infant daughter’s respiratory illness, but was convinced to play this season in Canada because he was told it was safe. He was one of the players who tested positive for the virus.
We’ve all convinced ourselves that this season can’t be compromised, no matter how much the NHL pushes and squeezes the schedule. Several teams in the US are playing more than a game every other night including travel, ditto for the AHL where there aren’t private planes and multiple rapid tests available every day. Here at home, William Nylander is still out with a COVID scare, while the entire Toronto Marlies team is shut down for a week, including Nick Robertson.
I’m so done with this. End the Canucks season, count whatever standings points by percentage. Even if they were in a playoff fight it wouldn’t be right or fair to subject them to this. Hockey players never talk, but they’re speaking up now, and that should carry weight.
"It's frustrating, we try to talk about our number one priority is our players health and their families safety and it's impossible to achieve that with what we're being asked to do." - J.T. Miller #Canucks— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) April 14, 2021
“This is hard for me and those of us (that didn’t get COVID)” says Miller.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) April 14, 2021
He’s thinking about how much worse it would be for his teammates that test positive and “those that are struggling to breathe going up and down steps.”
I’m just worried about our teams safety.” #Canucks
"What we're being asked to do is not going to be too safe, if you're asking me" - J.T. Miller #Canucks— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) April 14, 2021
“I hope people don’t take this the wrong way, I’m a super competitive guy... but this isn’t about hockey for our team. This is about the health and safety of our players, their family and their children. This isn’t about making the playoffs.” - J.T. Miller #Canucks— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) April 14, 2021
The NHLPA has been pin-drop silent on this entire matter in order to ride it out, even after multiple reports of sub-par treatment by the NHL in the playoff bubble and now throughout this season. Media in Vancouver have consistently been calling attention to this story only to be met with silence.
We reached out 2 days ago, they've just now declined our invitation to come on https://t.co/nVjC8Hni45— Blake Price (@justBlakePrice) April 14, 2021
For more reading on this, Thomas Drance and Emily Kaplan both wrote articles last night outlining in detail what is going on.
Drance: J.T. Miller is right, the #Canucks post-outbreak schedule is cruel, unfair: https://t.co/uhUh9enEbx— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) April 14, 2021
JT Miller thinks the Canucks are being rushed back after COVID outbreak. “What we're being asked to do is not too safe."— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) April 14, 2021
I also talked to a player last night who told me though he is cleared, he is still experiencing some after effects, like brain fog. https://t.co/b2J6wf33m1
After this rant, the was reporting that the Canucks players got into contact with the NHL and NHLPA so we’ll have news on this in the morning. They have a day to resolve these issues. I wonder if the “F” word (forfeit) comes up at any point.
NHL, NHLPA and Canucks medical will be involved in determining whether the Canucks are healthy enough to play on Friday. A decision will be based on the doctors evaluations of the players tomorrow. https://t.co/Q58qQd6VLM— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 15, 2021
Canucks players met with NHLPA this eve. Sounds like a productive discussion. Some players definitely taking longer to recover than hoped.— Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) April 15, 2021
Asked about meeting, PA spokesperson Jonathan Weatherdon told me: ‘There will be further discussion tomorrow amongst the medical groups.’
Various Leafs and Branches
Marlies games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols | by: Katya
Deep Dive: Is Nick Foligno the shutdown forward Keefe needs? | by: Omar
2021 NHL Draft Prospects to Watch 4.0 | by: Brigstew
Robertson’s ‘mental grind’ intensifies with COVID news | from: Sportsnet
It sounds like Sportsnet is losing the CHL TV rights. It sounds like TSN has it now. I guess Craig Button is an upgrade on Sam Cosentino?
Sources tell me today that in the days ahead the Canadian Hockey League will announce a new TV deal with @TSN_Sports ..leaving Rogers— jonah (@yyzsportsmedia) April 14, 2021
The Washington Capitals re-signed Conor Sheary to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million per year.
NEWS | The Washington Capitals have re-signed forward Conor Sheary to a two-year, $3 million contract.— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 14, 2021
Full Details: https://t.co/kGcuCK7vtX#ALLCAPS | @csheary13 pic.twitter.com/FOrwlBlN7o