VANCOUVER — The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that forwards John Tavares and Alexander Kerfoot have been placed into the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
For precautionary reasons, their scheduled practice for Friday has been canceled.
The team said all players and traveling staff were tested in Vancouver on Thursday and results came in on Friday morning. All players and staff will undergo additional testing on Friday.
The team arrived in Vancouver on Wednesday after their scheduled game against the Calgary Flames for Thursday was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The team had been fortunate up until this point to not have a single player land on the protocol list this season.
The Maple Leafs are scheduled to take on the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The test results that come in on Saturday could be a deciding factor in whether the game proceeds or not.
The team is scheduled to close out their road trip on Sunday against the Seattle Kraken.
UPDATE: The Maple Leafs announced later on Friday that forwards Wayne Simmonds and Jason Spezza were placed onto COVID-19 protocol.
It’s a tough break for Spezza, who earlier in the day had his six-game suspension for kneeing Winnipeg Jet’s defenseman Neal Pionk’s head reduced to four games by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
The Maple Leafs have called up forward Alex Steeves and defenseman Carl Dahlsrtom.
The entire team is fully vaccinated. If players are asymptomatic, it’s possible that players currently under protocol can be removed it they return two or more consecutive COVID-19 PCR tests.