The Nashville Predators aren’t out of the woods quite yet with their COVID-19 outbreak.
Although Ryan Johansen, Mikael Granlund, Philip Tomasino, Nick Cousins, Mark Borowiecki, Ben Harpur, Matt Luff and Michael McCarron have returned from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, the Predators placed captain Roman Josi, and centers Colton Sissons and Tommy Novak in protocol on Monday.
Head coach John Hynes announced that assistant coaches Todd Richards, Dan Hinote, Dan Lambert and Ben Vanderklok, who were all in the COVID-19 protocol the past 10 days, had returned to practice and were all feeling fine.
Hynes also disclosed that he was asymptomatic during his time away from the team.
“When I tested positive, I felt great,” he said. “I had no symptoms. I think I was positive on a Monday; I rode the bike Tuesday and Wednesday; I felt great and didn’t have any symptoms in the sense of smell, taste, fever, headache, sore throat. Energy levels were the same. It was really one of those things where if you didn’t test, I never would have thought I had COVID or wouldn’t have even had a cold.”
The Predators haven’t played since a 3-2 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 17. They’ve had four games canceled since, and their next scheduled game is Wednesday at the Washington Capitals.
Nashville’s seven-game win streak is tied for the longest current streak in the NHL.
When the Predators do return to the ice, they’ll have the added benefit of a temporary six-player taxi squad, which was reintroduced by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association over the weekend as part of the league’s amended COVID-19 protocols. Luff and McCarron were added to the taxi squad on Monday.
“Our team has shown a lot of mental freshness the last couple days in practice,” Hynes said. “To the players' credit, one of the things we talk about is just controlling what we can control. … There’s a lot of moving parts as far as who’s ready and not ready, but for us, it’s what we talk to our group about — it’s about the players that are in and making sure that we’re physically, mentally ready to play.”
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