The COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the NHL.
The Edmonton Oilers faced that reality on Saturday, as the team put eleven total members of the organization into health and safety protocols, including five players and six support staff.
The Oilers did not disclose the names of staff members entering into the protocol. They revealed the roster, which includes Kailer Yamamoto, Evan Bouchard, Slater Koekkoekk, Brendan Perlini and Ilya Konovalov.
As horrible as it sounds, if there was a time for the Oilers to suffer an outbreak, it would be now.
Following tonight’s game with the New York Islanders – which could even be postponed as well as following those positive tests – the Oilers are only expected to play once in the next ten days, with a home game against the Ottawa Senators in December. The 10 being the only clash on their list by December 20 due to capacity limits instituted by Canada’s provincial governments.
An extended break is a silver lining in this otherwise austere story, allowing an already exhausted Oilers team to heal and recover when they need it most.
It is a stark reminder, however, of the prevalence of this terrible virus.