It wouldn’t be the Avs without some injury/medical drama, right? And so it goes furthermore, with bracing news about 45 minutes ago that star center Nathan MacKinnon would not practice today because of a “Covid protocol-related absence” according to the team.
At this hour, we don’t know any more than that. Did MacKinnon test positive for the virus? Don’t know. Will he play tomorrow, if he tests negative? Don’t know. Could this just be a false-positive (which has been the case with at least a couple Avs players in the past)? Don’t know. With serious medical stuff like this, I won’t speculate. Just have to wait to hear what the authorities say on this one.
(UPDATE) Well, no less an authority than Avs GM Joe Sakic just updated us with MacKinnon’s status. MacKinnon has tested positive for the virus. Sakic said MacKinnon is asymptomatic as of now. He will not play in the season opener, but beyond that the team is being tight-lipped. The Covid protocol stuff is murky and confusing to me – and many others.
Why am I confused? Because, in response to a question from our Terry Frei, Sakic said this:
Sakic: "Nathan, he tested positive from yesterday's test. He's asymptomatic, feeling good. He won't be playing tomorrow night, but hopefully, he'll be able to test out and get ready, we're hoping for, Saturday."
— Terry Frei (@TFrei) October 12, 2021
I thought if you test positive, you’re out at least 10-14 days. I’ve read the NHL covid protocol literature and I swear I can’t make sense of it. Maybe some of you smarter people out there can shed some light on this.
*Terry and I have done a bit more digging and this is what we learned:
The situation, as I and @TFrei understand it: If a player is fully vaxxed, as MacKinnon was and asymptomatic and tests negative for Covid in multiple consecutive days, he can return sooner than the old 10-14 mandate. So, MacK could still play Saturday
— Adrian Dater (@adater) October 12, 2021
Let’s see what develops, but this is obviously bad news. I guess it’s better it happens now rather than later, though, right?
Nazem Kadri took MacKinnon’s spot on a line with Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen today. J.T. Compher centered Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky, with Tyson Jost and Logan O’Connor the third and fourth-line centers. Kurtis MacDermid skated at right wing on a fourth line.
Kadri also took MacKinnon’s spot on the top power play.
This just goes to prove: this Covid mess isn’t over with yet. Not by a long shot. Four top Seattle Kraken players – including Joonas Donskoi – are in Covid protocol right now.