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Crawford Takes Leave of Absence, Stars Season Delayed and More NHL Updates

With just five days (!!!) until the NHL returns, things are really starting to heat up on the news front. Here’s all you need to know from around the league today.

Six Stars Test Positive, Their Season Delayed

https://twitter.com/PR_NHL/status/1347601895624495104

This morning, the NHL announced that six Dallas Stars players and two staff members had tested posted for COVID-19. They are now isolating and following the CDC and league protocols. As a result, their practice facility has been closed until further notice. The first three games of their season have also been postponed. Their first game will now be on January 19th at the earliest. If there are any more positive tests it will be delayed again.

I’m happy to see the NHL taking this so seriously and not allowing the team to play for the recommended 10-day quarantine (it was recently shortened for those of you who don’t know) period, unlike the MLB and NFL who just let the teams play the next day, which resulted in huge outbreaks. I have hope that the NHL will be able to keep their numbers down all things considering seeing how seriously they’re already taking it!

Several Blue Jackets Held Out of Practice Due to COVID-19 Precautions

https://twitter.com/BlueJacketsPR/status/1347573749709742080?s=20

The Columbus Blue Jackets also saw a bit of a practice shakeup due to COVID-19 today. However, unlike the Stars, theirs wasn’t canceled, and their season has not been delayed (yet). There were just several players held out due to an abundance of caution and because of the league’s COVID-19 protocols. This likely either means their tests didn’t come back in time, were inconclusive, or they were potentially exposed to the virus and are awaiting further testing. 

Either way, just like I said with the Stars, it’s really promising to see the NHL taking this so seriously even before they have major problems with it unlike the MLB and the NFL. It makes me very hopeful that the season will be able to be played out in full and, as I said above, that numbers can be kept as low as possible. Obviously, there’s still going to be positive tests, particularly with numbers still skyrocketing around the country. But, with how seriously they’re taking it already, they should be able to keep numbers as low as can be expected.

Crawford Takes A Leave of Absence

https://twitter.com/NJDevils/status/1347600093785051137

The New Jersey Devils announced today that Corey Crawford will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. I think I speak for everyone when I say I wish him and his family all the best with whatever they’re dealing with!

Lundqvist’s Heart Surgery A Success

https://twitter.com/hlundqvist35/status/1347557915784335362

Henrik Lundqvist announced that he underwent heart surgery three days ago and luckily, it was a success! For those of you who don’t know, on December 17th, Lundqvist announced that he would not play this season due to heart problems. Then, on December 28th, he announced that he’d be undergoing an aortic valve replacement, aortic root, and ascending aortic replacement. Obviously, that’s really scary stuff. So, it’s great news to hear that it went well and he’s on the road to recovery!

Backes and Many More Placed on Waivers

https://twitter.com/PierreVLeBrun/status/1347591845799473155?s=20

The list of players who were placed on waivers was extensive today. Headlining that list is David Backes, who was traded from the Boston Bruins to the Anaheim Ducks at the 2020 trade deadline. I truly feel bad for Backes, as he has worked so hard to try and keep up with today’s NHL. But unfortunately, injuries and his rough and tumble playing style have caught up to him. The move is reportedly for cap and roster reasons, not because they want to get rid of Backes. So, expect to see him on the Ducks taxi squad this season.

The other players who were put on waivers today include are: Christian Djoos (ANA), Anthony Stolarz (ANA), Andy Welinski (ANA), Andrew Poturalski (ANA), Chase De Leo (ANA), Vinni Lettieri (ANA), Sam Carrick (ANA), Andrew Agozzino (ANA), Antoine Bibeau (CAR), Steven Lorentz (CAR), Spencer Smallman (CAR), Jeremy Bracco (CAR), Gustav Forsling (CAR), Drew Shore (CAR), Max McCormick (CAR), Miikka Salomaki (COL), Sheldon Dries (COL), Jacob MacDonald (COL),  Dan Renouf (COL), Kyle Burroughs (COL), Mike Vecchione (COL), T.J. Tynan (COL), Jayson Megna (COL), and Nic Petan (TOR).

I think that’s everything from today. I don’t know about you, but seeing news really pick up makes it real to me that the season is here, and I can’t wait! Only 6 more days until hockey is back!

-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)

Featured image courtesy of NHLI via Getty Images

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