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Burns Out of COVID Protocol, Hill Goes In



Credit: NBC Sports California

Brent Burns is out of COVID protocol, but now Adin Hill is on it.

Hill joined Tomas Hertl, Jonathan Dahlen, and Jasper Weatherby in protocol. San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner also initimated that “a lot” of Barracuda players have tested positive, though he didn’t disclose which players.

These positive Barracuda tests appear to be in addition to Nick Cicek, Dillion Hamaliuk (retroactive to Dec. 23), Evander Kane, Alexei Melnichuk, and Ryan Merkley. Also, assistant coach Michael Chiasson and an undisclosed Barracuda staff member had also been placed in the AHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

Cicek and Kane were added to COVID protocol on Dec. 22.

BREAKING: Kane Has COVID Symptoms; Weatherby, Cicek Also in Protocol

Meanwhile, Zachary Sawchenko has been recalled to take Hill’s place. Hopefully, he and James Reimer can stay out of COVID protocol, because after them, and with Hill and Melnichuk in protocol, the San Jose Sharks’ goaltending depth is a huge question mark.

Burns is coming out of protocol at just the right time: He’s in line to play his 1,200th contest and 628th consecutive game tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes.

He declined to answer any questions about his individual or the team COVID situation.

Boughner said that he expects Logan Couture to center Alexander Barabanov and Timo Meier, Nick Bonino to be between Matt Nieto and Noah Gregor, Lane Pederson to pair with Andrew Cogliano, and call-up Nick Merkley to skate with Jonah Gadjovich and Jeffrey Viel.

Finally, Boughner revealed the grind that the Sharks have been undergoing over the last two days since practice started up again after a league-wide holiday/COVID break.

“Players were here between eight and 8:30 at SAP, tested and then they drive over to Sharks Ice and they got to wait in their car,” Boughner said. “Some guys are waiting up to an hour, an hour and fifteen [minutes].”

Pederson shed some light on the “strange process”: “I kind of waited around the parking lot [yesterday] after I tested. It was a little bit over an hour.

“Today, I tested, I ripped home, knowing that it was gonna be about an hour for results. Then I just made my way back to [Sharks Ice] and I had my results just as I was pulling into the arena.”

In the big picture of a worldwide pandemic that has killed millions, this isn’t significant. But hockey players — and most athletes — are creatures of habit, so this is a noteworthy disruption to their everyday lives.

“With our team having dealt with this earlier in the season, we were kind of hoping that this was just behind us,” Pederson said of the San Jose Sharks’ late October COVID scare. “But obviously, you look around the league and everybody’s dealing with it.”

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