A day after having a fourth game this week postponed, the Flyers saw their number of players on the NHL's COVID protocol list grow to five.
Jakub Voracek and Morgan Frost were added to the league's COVID protocol list Thursday. Claude Giroux, Justin Braun and Travis Sanheim remained on the list, which is updated daily by the NHL around 5 p.m. ET.
There are a number of contributing factors for why a player can be placed on the COVID protocol list. A player being out because of COVID protocol does not necessarily mean the player tested positive for the coronavirus.
Nonetheless, it's a bit troubling to see two more Flyers players listed as out because of COVID protocol. The club did not see its number climb Wednesday, good news that turned out to be brief for the Flyers. Per league protocols, all teams receive daily COVID-19 tests. If not on the road, the Flyers undergo their testing at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey.
Giroux and Braun were placed on the COVID protocol list Tuesday. Sanheim has been sidelined since Sunday, when he missed the Flyers' 7-4 win over the Capitals for COVID protocol. Voracek, Giroux and Braun played in the game and practiced Monday. It's unknown how much Frost has been around the Flyers, if at all, recently. The 21-year-old center is on injured reserve and was set to undergo shoulder surgery last week at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.
Over different days this week, the Flyers had games on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday all postponed because of COVID protocols. The team will be out of commission until Monday, when it's expected to return to practice. The Devils, who were originally slated to play the Flyers on Thursday and Saturday, had 18 players on Thursday's COVID protocol list. New Jersey hasn't played since Jan. 31.
The Flyers' next scheduled game is Feb. 18 (next Thursday) against the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center. The team is then scheduled to travel to Stateline, Nevada, to play the Bruins in the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game on Feb. 21. With the postponement of Sunday's game against the Rangers, the league is clearly trying to provide as much time as possible for the Flyers' situation to improve and eventually settle ahead of the outdoor game.
The Avalanche and Golden Knights kick off the Lake Tahoe event the day prior to the Flyers-Bruins game. Colorado had three players on Thursday's COVID protocol list (Samuel Girard, Tyson Jost and Gabriel Landeskog).
Once again, as it inevitably is with the coronavirus pandemic, it's wait-and-see mode for the NHL.
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