After having to add Morgan Frost, Justin Braun, Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux, and Travis Sanheim, the Flyers have added two more players to the list, Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton.
This is potentially devastating news on a number of levels for the Flyers. For one, it casts real doubt on the Flyers taking to the ice in Lake Tahoe on February 21. The NHL has already begun putting together a back-up plan for another East team to play the New York Rangers, per Greg Wyshynski.
More importantly, it’s upsetting to see Lindblom’s name on the list, especially given the fact that he was at higher risk following his battle with Ewing Sarcoma.
Adding players to the COVID-19 protocol list doesn’t necessarily mean the player has tested positive for COVID-19. It could mean they were in close contact with someone who tested positive or back traced from another positive test.
In the days since Travis Sanheim was pulled from the team’s lineup ahead of Sunday’s game against the Capitals in Washington, Claude Giroux, Justin Braun, Jakub Voracek, and Morgan Frost were all announced as having entered the NHL’s COVID protocol. None of those players have been confirmed that they tested positive by the team, league, or the players themselves publicly. It’s worth noting that we’re now in the five-seven day window when it’s recommended those exposed to a positive-result individual get tested.
It’s hard to envision a scenario in which the Flyers will play in Lake Tahoe on the Feb. 21 if the team’s list continues to grow. The expectation is that the New York Rangers will be substituted in for Philadelphia if the NHL opts for a replacement, which is really sad and unfortunate.