VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Their facilities open their doors on Monday, but when Vancouver Canucks players will hit the ice still remains unclear after another positive COVID-19 case was confirmed over the weekend.
The team was supposed to start workouts Sunday, but that was pushed back when forward Jay Beagle became the 26th individual to register a positive test. The Canucks aren’t scheduled to hold a full, on-ice practice until at least Wednesday.
Twenty-five people, including 21 players and four coaching staff, have tested positive for the virus during the Canucks’ outbreak. One other player has been deemed a close contact.
The Canucks have little time to prepare now for what will be a sprint to the finish to complete the regular season. The team is not scheduled to hold a full, on-ice practice until at least Wednesday.
The National Hockey League has the team playing 19 games over a span of 31 days starting Friday, when the Edmonton Oilers are scheduled to visit Rogers Arena.
Their gruelling schedule also includes six sets of back-to-backs.
Beagle hadn’t played since March 10, so his case isn’t expected to further impact Vancouver’s return to play.
However, with the delayed return to practice, the Canucks will only have two full sessions to prepare for action. Their condensed schedule would test the limits of any high-performance athlete, let alone close to an entire team dealing with a respiratory illness.
The outbreak saw eight Canucks games postponed between March 31 and April 14.
The team has not played a game since March 24 when it lost 5-1 to the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
Vancouver’s regular season is now set to end on May 16 with a visit to the Calgary Flames.