UPDATE on September 22:
A Russian news site is reporting that they have been told by sources close to the team that 30 members of the Lokomotiv organization have tested positive:
The original article is below with updates.
The KHL has just announced that the game scheduled today between Lokomotiv and Sochi has been cancelled.
Three Lokomotiv players tested positive for Coronavirus and did not travel to Sochi instead remaining at home in isolation. The team realized that some of the other members of Lokomotiv were in the contact group of the infected players, and cancelled the game after they had arrived at the Sochi arena. The rest of the team will now be tested.
Also today six matches for the Kazakh team in Nur Sultan were postponed because of several positive tests on the team.
Following preliminary positive tests for coronavirus involving 12 members of the playing and coaching staff of Barys, the team must undergo two weeks in quarantine: https://t.co/qoKhTY1rOn pic.twitter.com/jWhAN9QVBn— KHL (@khl_eng) September 17, 2020
The KHL head Alexei Morozov has expressed displeasure about other countries testing and isolation rules. He has complaints about Latvia finding positive tests that were later said to be false, and with Finland keeping Jokerit from playing even though everyone has has negative tests.
Morozov: #KHL addressed a list to Latvia & Riga to change their #COVID19 testing method because we can see their method is not precise. We see it with Neftekhimik case & our referees (all negative despite being positive with Latvian express-tests). #HockeyTwitter https://t.co/lxYBop88qa— KHL DIARIES (@vorkywh24) September 17, 2020
The situation in Sochi doesn’t reflect particularly well on Russian procedures, and the decision to try to carry on with the game and to not isolate the entire team is not something that would be allowed in other countries with KHL teams.
No names have been released regarding who tested positive for Lokomotiv, but they did place defender Denis Barantsev and forwards Kirill Slepets, Nikolai Kovalenko, Vladimir Tkachyov and Andre Petersson on injured reserve. They then called up three forwards and one defender from their VHL and MHL team earlier today.
Tkachyov is Yegor Korshkov’s usual centre.
Update September 18: The above was the only news ever provided, and it was only ever posted in Russian on September 17. Today, the English KHL site has this statement they call a clarification:
When Lokomotiv arrived in Sochi for the game on Sep. 17, 11 players and one staff member showed symptoms of illness. The club management informed the KHL that part of the team should be regarded as being in the contact group. In the interests of the safety of everyone involved in the league, the team returned home to Yaroslavl. On arrival, everyone was tested for COVID-19. The initial test results were negative, but nine players continued to report symptoms.
As a result of this situation, the game between HC Sochi and Lokomotiv was postponed. In addition, the game against Dinamo Minsk, which was due to be played on Sep. 19, was also postponed because there wasn’t enough time to prepare additional players from the Lokomotiv system and arrange the necessary documentation for them to cross the border into Belarus.
On Sunday, Sep. 20, every Lokomotiv player – whether in the first team or in the reserves or juniors – will undergo in-depth testing. Lokomotiv and the KHL are doing everything possible to ensure that the game at Kunlun Red Star on Sep. 21 can go ahead as scheduled.
- No mention is made of the initial positive tests that were reported in Russian, or of the players left off the roster for the trip to Sochi.
- “contact group” implies an existing positive test for someone not present, since the entire team would be in the contact group for the potentially infected people on the plane.
- No type of “initial test” is specified.
- The implication that they would have played the game in Minsk (never mind the protests and the police violence) with callups and potentially infected players isn’t even a surprise when the is formally trying to get Finland to violate their own isolation rules.
- “in-depth testing” is a nonsense phrase.
- The KHL is doing everything to ensure a road game gets played in the temporary home of KRS (Mytishchi, a Moscow suburb), but doing nothing meaningful to protect the health and wellbeing of their players.
The Toronto Maple Leafs should withdraw the loan of Yegor Korshkov immediately.
Update on September 20: The Lokomotiv game vs KRS set for Monday has been postponed by a single day so far, and the KHL official news now reports three confirmed cases on Lokomotiv with “several more” isolated with symptoms.
The Finnish authorities agreed to allow Jokerit to resume play since everyone has tested negative. But the KHL’s and Latvia’s decision to allow Dinamo Riga to continue playing after coming in contact with the same infected team as Jokerit had has not worked out as well.
Today the Riga game vs Torpedo was postponed when several players and staff on Torpedo showed symptoms. Four players have preliminary positive tests, and the team will need to call up replacements and get travel documents to go to Riga. Meanwhile five members of the Riga club are in isolation with positive test results.
Leafs prospect Semyon Kizimov is a member of Torpedo.