The bad news was that a whopping seven Bruins players were held off the ice on Saturday and deemed “unfit to participate” while something was clearly afoot with the COVID-19 testing.
The good news is that we may now have an idea of what exactly happened with at least some of the new “unfit to participate” players that included core B’s group guys like Torey Krug, Charlie Coyle, David Krejci, Chris Wagner and Tuukka Rask among others.
Coyle’s agent, Bob Norton, confirmed to NBC Sports Boston that Coyle received an “inconclusive test result” for COVID-19 and was held out of Saturday’s practice for precautionary reasons.
“First test was inconclusive so held him off the ice in an abundance of caution,” said Norton. “He then tested negative in a follow-up test. He’s fine.”
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Bruins GM Don Sweeney indicated that a group of B’s players that didn’t skate on Saturday took the ice on Sunday and it’s believed that Coyle was among that group after testing negative for COVID-19 in a follow-up test. This is going to be the new normal for teams across the NHL in Phases 3 or 4 as the testing ramps up to a daily basis and any delays, inconclusive tests of false positives could lead to unexpected absences from the ice. It’s something that’s going to force NHL coaching staffs to be agile about their practice plans and hopeful that things work out quickly for any players caught up in testing snafus.
“We have to be flexible and be able to change what we intended to because that's what we have to do," said Don Sweeney, during a Sunday morning Zoom call with reporters. "We have players on the ice today and hopefully we'll have a full group tomorrow. Test results come back on a daily basis and we see who is available to practice and then we move forward. The best laid plans sometimes go astray and we have to be able to move forward. Our coaches understand that now.”