Canucks stay shut down; new player in protocols

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The Vancouver Canucks will not reopen their practice facilities Sunday as originally planned after another player was placed in the NHL’s COVID protocols, the league said in a statement.

The NHL said the Canucks’ facilities will remain closed until at least Monday, though plans for the team to resume playing Friday are still on track. Sunday was supposed to be an informal skate with a handful of players, a source told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. Nineteen roster players were on the NHL’s protocol list as of Saturday.

The latest Canucks player to enter the protocols has not been around the team since March 31, the NHL said, but “the League’s, NHLPA’s and Club’s medical groups determined that the prudent decision was to keep the facilities closed for an additional day.”

Eight Canucks games have been postponed since March 31 as a COVID-19 outbreak spread through the team, which said a variant of the virus was involved.

Vancouver is set to resume its season Friday against the Edmonton Oilers. The NHL had said Saturday that the Canucks would be able to complete their full 56-game schedule. The North Division is set to end its season May 16; the regular season was originally scheduled to end May 11.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning told reporters Friday that no players have said they want to opt out of the rest of the season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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