Scheifele latest Jet to enter NHL’s COVID-19 protocol
Just days after Captain Blake Wheeler entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol after confirming a positive diagnosis for the coronavirus, Mark Scheifele joined his Winnipeg Jets teammate.
The Jets confirmed Thursday morning that Scheifele tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, barring him from participating in the team’s morning practice ahead of the home opener against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night. The Jets were still hopeful Scheifele could play against the Ducks after testing negative on Wednesday.
If he had been able to produce a second consecutive negative result on Thursday, then he would have been removed from the league’s grip and allowed to participate in all club activities. Instead, Thursday’s test came back positive, confirming the initial diagnosis.
âWe have playing time decisions all the time,â said head coach Paul Maurice after morning practice. “The difference is, if a guy has a pulled groin, you don’t have to worry about it spreading to the guy he’s sitting next to on the plane.”
Scheifele has already missed a game this year after serving the final from a four-game suspension he earned in last season’s playoffs. This game was also against the Ducks.
The rest of the team were tested with all results negative. The Jets will continue to undergo daily testing to make sure it hasn’t spread to anyone else.
Maurice has been in contact with Scheifele and Wheeler, a duo that make up two-thirds of the Jets’ top line. Scheifele remains in isolation at home, while Wheeler continues to self-isolate in the United States – days after quarantining at least 10 days after testing positive in the Jets’ recent season opener, a trip to the United States. three-game route through Anaheim, San Jose and Minneapolis.
“Just texting back and forth. They are as in a good mood as can be,” Maurice said. “Mark is quite optimistic and feels good. Blake is on the mend. Both wish they could play tonight. We wish they could too.”
Since Scheifele is asymptomatic, he may not necessarily have to undergo a long quarantine, as in the case of Wheeler, who is showing symptoms. As long as he remains asymptomatic, the Jets said Scheifele was eligible to return to the squad after two negative tests in a 24-hour period.
The Jets recalled Dominic Toninato from the Manitoba Moose and led 11 forwards and seven defensemen against the Ducks, with Nathan Beaulieu being the additional defenseman. Meanwhile, Scheifele and Wheeler’s salaries will be deducted from the salary cap, which for Winnipeg is already close to the US $ 81.5 cap.
Many in the Jets locker room wanted a speedy recovery for their teammates, but few seemed very concerned about what that might mean moving forward. The entire squad is fully vaccinated, and while there is still concern that more players may test positive, with additional health protocols at stake – like wearing masks and social distancing where possible – it looks more like a waiting game than anything else.
âHaving been through this last year with the team in Vancouverâ¦ anytime you can get a non-positive result it’s good for your squad,â said Jets defenseman Nate Schmidt, who was with the Canucks from Vancouver when they had a COVID-19 outbreak last season. “I hope this is the last time we go through this, but at the same timeâ¦ it’s tough when you maybe miss two of your best forwards.”
Schmidt said he contracted COVID-19 twice, including the outbreak with the Canucks in April that affected more than 20 players and staff. But this time, because everyone is fully vaccinated, it’s different.
âLast year you went through it, nobody had, so you kind of had that inevitable feeling that it was coming for you,â Schmidt said. âI had tested negative five days before the first guy tested positive in Vancouver. I thought I was clear but even then he still finds a way. For me personally I wouldn’t say I am. more, or less, scared I would say I’m less worried that our entire team will be vaccinated.
Veteran forward Paul Stastny said he talks to Wheeler every day and the captain is doing well, adding that any concerns would be with Wheeler’s wife and would have to care for three young children at home. But he also expressed frustration with the NHL’s COVID protocols, especially when it comes to testing.
Stastny has spoken as if regular testing, with players tested every 72 hours, somehow prepares teams for failure. He also suggested that the issue became political, while providing characteristics of two sides without identifying exactly who belonged to each group.
“If you’re going to test all the time, you’re just looking for someone to get it. But if nobody’s having symptoms and you’re not going to be tested, you shouldn’tâ¦ I don’t think you should test everything. time, âStastny said.
âI know it’s a new virus, so I think in that sense it’s a little frustrating. With something new like this, everyone has different opinions, everyone is either completely on one side, be complete on the other side. There is a lot of fear on one side, there is a lot ofâ¦ I wouldn’t say fear, but just a lot of openness on the other side. , I think that’s the world we’re living in right now, it’s all kind of divided, it’s all very political, divides like that, and that’s just another issue. ”
The Jets finished their two home games on Saturday against the Nashville Predators, before returning to California for a three-game trip through Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.
[email protected]: @jeffkhamilton
After a series of injuries while playing hockey, including fractures to the wrist, arm and collarbone; a tear in the medial collateral ligament of both knees; in addition to a collapsed lung, Jeff thought it was a good idea to show his interest in sports off the ice and in the classroom.
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