nhl break | Conor Hellebuick considers it ‘sort of a stretch’

Connor Hellebuyck doesn’t like the NHL’s latest steps to tackle the spread of COVID-19.


Joshua Clipperton
Canadian Press

The league comes 48 hours before the start of its traditional holiday on its calendar due to fears of COVID-19 and the outbreak of the disease due to the Omicron variant, which has led to the postponement of 45 games since December 13.

But the Winnipeg Jets goalkeeper disagrees with the decision to send the players on leave starting on Wednesday, before they return to work on Sunday.

“I can’t speak for everyone, but for me it’s a bit exaggerated,” Heilbuick told reporters in Winnipeg on Tuesday. You see leagues like the NFL adapt and I think they are making the right decisions. ”

The NFL recently reduced COVID-19 testing for immunized players who are asymptomatic. The NHL has been testing players every three days, but is back to the daily rate until at least January 7, due to the increase in cases.

More than a third of NHL teams had closed or voluntarily closed their facilities before the league announced that Wednesday’s games would be added to the list of games that will require resumption dates.

Currently, about 15% of players – all but one NHL player have been vaccinated – are in the league’s COVID-19 protocol.

It’s a shame, but it’s Christmas, so we’re enjoying the relief,” Heilbuek, who contracted COVID-19 last summer, said before getting the vaccine. We can use this time as a little mental reset or to see the family, enjoy the holidays and enjoy what we have. ”

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The league, which has suspended cross-border travel until after the break, had two games on Tuesday before stopping until Boxing Day. However, the NHL announced that the Washington Capitals’ duel against the Philadelphia Flyers has been called off due to COVID-19 issues within the capitals.

The showdown between the Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning was still scheduled for Tuesday night, with it going to be the last game before the break. This game will take place despite the addition of Golden Knights defender Alex Pietrangelo and teammate Evgenii Dadonov to the protocols.

The holiday break was originally scheduled to begin on Friday.

The schedule is set to resume on Monday with 14 games in the schedule, although further delays are likely, as a number of teams face multiple cases of COVID-19.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who are set to cross swords with the Columbus Bluejackets on Monday, announced that forwards David Kampf and Ilya Mikheev, defender Rasmus Sandin and goalkeeper Peter Mrazek have put into the National Hockey League’s protocols.

The Maple Leafs now have 11 protocol players, plus head coach Sheldon Cave, two assistants and three other members of the organization.

The Calgary Flames family, which suffered its worst outbreak of the disease since the start of the season, went three days without testing positive and reopened its facilities to employees who remained negative on daily tests. But they did add guard Dan Vladar to the protocols.

The Flames team, which has seen six of its matches postponed, now has a total of 20 players and 13 staff on the sidelines. Calgary forces are scheduled to host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

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The Buffalo Sabers canceled training on Tuesday before putting forwards Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons into protocols, joining forward Vinnie Hinostroza.

At Winnipeg, Hellebuyck was questioned that NHL players were unlikely to be in the Beijing Olympics.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper was expected to play a key role for the United States, but now he will have to wait for another opportunity, in 2026.

“I’ll be thirty-two,” Hellebuek said. I know I’m going to play the best hockey game yet, but we’ll see if it’s the same story. It was supposed to be a great occasion, but I imagine we have to deal with it. ”

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