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Canucks to return to play Sunday vs. Leafs after COVID-19 outbreak

Last Updated Apr 16, 2021 at 12:21 pm PDT

An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

VANCOUVER (Sportsnet) – The Vancouver Canucks will return to game action on Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL announced Friday, pushing Saturday’s matchup between the two teams back one day.

The schedule change is one of 15 in the all-Canadian North Division announced by the league.

The Canucks, whose season was derailed by a COVID-19 outbreak that saw at least 21 players and four members of the coaching staff test positive for the virus, haven’t played since March 24.

Vancouver’s return will be part of a special Sunday edition of Hockey Night in Canada, which will air at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet.

The Canucks were originally scheduled to resume their season on Friday against the Edmonton Oilers, but the game was postponed after concerns were raised by Canucks players about how quickly they were being asked to play after recovering from the novel coronavirus.

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Canucks forward J.T. Miller was among the most publicly outspoken, expressing concern about the team’s quick return to the ice Wednesday, saying it would be “very challenging and not very safe” to play as scheduled on Friday because they had not had enough time to recover and get back in shape.

The Canucks’ return was one of several scheduling changes the league confirmed Friday, which will result in the final date for regular-season games in the North Division being May 19.