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.

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.

For more reading on this, Thomas Drance and Emily Kaplan both wrote articles last night outlining in detail what is going on.

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.

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?

The Washington Capitals re-signed Conor Sheary to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million per year.