The Vancouver Canucks will be without one more player this weekend.
On Wednesday morning, the team announced that Elias Pettersson had been added to their COVID-19 protocol list.
The Canucks did not disclose any information about Pettersson’s condition or symptoms but, given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, as well as the league’s mandatory five-day isolation period, it is not expected that the 23-year-old will be available for Saturday’s match-up against the Ottawa Senators at Rogers Arena.
That is, if the game is even played at all.
Pettersson, who has underperformed this season with just six goals and 11 assists in 34 games, will join fellow forwards Brock Boeser, Phillip Di Guiseppe, Jason Dickinson and Justin Dowling on the sidelines. All four players tested positive after the holiday break, and have not suited up for a contest since.
Blueliners Luke Schenn, Brad Hunt, Tucker Poolman and Tyler Myers, as well as assistant coach Jason King and forwards Juho Lammikko and Tyler Motte, were previously on the team’s protocol list early in December after testing positive, but have since been removed.
Even with more players healthy and back on the ice again, the organization should still be wary about this spread, as Pettersson marks the 11th player to be added to the protocol list in the past month.
The Senators are in a similar situation, having just activated forwards Tyler Ennis, Josh Norris and Nick Paul from their protocol list, but are still without the services of Thomas Chabot, Zach Sanford, Chris Tierney and Anton Forsberg.
Defencemen Dillon Heatherington and Jacob Bernard-Docker, as well as assistant coach Bob Jones, also made it onto their list on Monday.
Both teams will be well-rested heading into Saturday night, granted the game continues on as planned, as neither club has played since New Year’s Day.
Vancouver will be looking to extend their winning ways after beating Seattle by a score of 5-2, whereas Ottawa will be looking to bounce back from an ugly 6-0 defeat at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Vancouver was scheduled to play the New York Islanders on Wednesday, while Ottawa was expected to face off against Minnesota and Seattle during the week, but all three games were postponed.
Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST on Saturday.
What are your thoughts heading into Vancouver’s weekend contest? Should this contest be postponed as well? Make sure to drop a comment below!