The Colorado Avalanche announced on Tuesday morning that forward Nathan MacKinnon will be absent from practice due to COVID-19 protocols. His status for the Avalanche's season opener on Wednesday versus the Chicago Blackhawks has yet to be determined.
This continues a troubling trend of COVID-related absences in the days leading up to the season. The Seattle Kraken have seen five of their players enter league protocols in the past week, with Jared McCann, Joonas Donskoi, Marcus Johansson, and Jamie Oleksiak entering on Sunday while Calle Jarnkrok did so early last week.
Johnasson is expected to play, while the status of the others is unclear.
Being fully vaccinated, MacKinnon has a good chance of exiting the protocol in time for him to play in Wednesday night's opener. The Avalanche would certainly hope it ends up that way. MacKinnon is coming off of a 2021 season in which he racked up a whopping 65 points in 48 games, with the expectation being that he will finally lead the consensus-favorite Avalanche to Stanley Cup glory.
Still, MacKinnon's status is one to monitor.