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Sharks Games Postponed; Couture, Hertl React to New Safety Protocols

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“We thought it was all behind us.”

Tomas Hertl and the San Jose Sharks will have to wait until after Christmas break to play their next game.

The National Hockey League announced Sunday the postponement of all cross-border games until Dec. 25, which includes the San Jose Sharks’ upcoming games against the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers.

“It’s tough right now,” San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture said. “Guys are getting this new variant it seems. It’s a good thing these guys aren’t getting overly sick. We’re going to try and avoid it here.”

To date, no member of the Sharks organization has been known to have contracted the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

But because of how contagious this variant is proving to be, the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association have returned to tighter COVID-19 safety measures. The NHL confirmed Saturday that it was embracing new rules amid the emergence of the Omicron variant and the rapid number of positive test results around the league, specifically in the past few days.

Measures consist of restrictions on indoor dining during road trips, wearing masks while in club facilities and on road travel, including when on buses, planes, and at the hotel, and daily testing, except on days off.

“I think it’s more for on the road,” San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier said. “It’s not something you like to hear, but this situation we’re dealing with, it’s getting worse again, although I’m not an expert about that. I just try to mainly not worry too much about it. If you have those strict rules, it’s going to suck and affect you a little bit, but I try not to get too upset or too deep into it.”

“It appears that at home you’re able to live your life normally, but on the road, you’re not,” Couture added.

These enhanced measures will stay in effect through the holiday season, and will be re-evaluated by Jan. 7 by the NHL and NHLPA.

“Over the last couple years or so, we’ve been familiar with that stuff, so I think it’s nothing too crazy new,” Meier said. “We’ve dealt with that stuff before.”

The San Jose Sharks haven’t had any known positive cases since around their COVID-19 outbreak on Oct. 30 ahead of their game against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Sharks are scheduled to play their next game on Dec. 27 at Anaheim, giving players like Mario Ferraro and Rudolfs Balcers some much-needed rest and recovery.

At San Jose Hockey Now …

Karlsson Won’t Go to Olympics Under Current Quarantine Rules

Subscriber Q&A: Weatherby on Being Chirped by Marchand, “Brent Burns Is My Spirit Animal” | SJHN+

Why Did Sharks Have to Play Through Their COVID Outbreak?

Chris Peters on Why Gushchin, Gaudreau Missed WJCs + How to Replace Labanc?

Canucks @ Sharks: New Game, Same Issues

Kane Scores 1st AHL Goal, Barracuda Win 10-5

In Other Sharks News …

Kevin Kurz provides his final San Jose Sharks mailbag before switching to cover the New York Islanders. (The Athletic)

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson had words of warning for the Sharks last weekend. His concerns have been realized. (The Mercury News)

In Fear the Fin’s latest addition of Deep Blue Sea, COVID concerns spread around the NHL. (Fear the Fin)

San Jose Sharks prospect Magnus Chrona recorded his first shutout of the season after making 23 saves against Minnesota Duluth on Dec. 10. Check out the rest of the team’s prospects in the team’s latest Next Wave Report. (NHL.com)

Around the NHL …

Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras made the pass of the year.

Former San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski shared some strong emotions post-game for his teammate Tanner Kero after he left the ice from a scary collision.

NHL looks to create “ultimate hockey experience” for Winter Classic at Target Field. (The Star Tribune)

NHL players discuss the Olympics with the latest quarantine regulations. (The Athletic)

The St. Louis Blues did lookalikes of holiday characters on the jumbotron, and it was pretty funny.

The Boston Bruins have COVID-19 concerns, and “a vast majority have mild symptoms.”

Sweeney: ‘Vast Majority of Bruins Players Have Mild Symptoms’

COVID-19 hits nearly half the Calgary Flames‘ active roster.

COVID hits nearly half Flames active roster as positive numbers rise around NHL

Colorado Avalanche games have been postponed through Christmas.

PAUSE: Avalanche games postponed through Christmas

Kevin Allen looks at Detroit Red Wings‘ rookie defenseman Moritz Seider and his juggling abilities.

Moritz Seider Puck Juggling Skill; What Can’t He Do? Check It Out

Florida Panthers defenseman Chase Priskie takes advantage of opportunity.

Florida Panthers offered opportunity. Chase Priskie grabbed it

Montreal Canadiens general manager search includes women. The NHL has never had a woman GM.

MHN Links: Canadiens GM search includes women, COVID ramp up, Bedard at WJHC

Oliver Wahlstrom made his debut on the New York Islanders‘ top line last night.

What to Make of Oliver Wahlstrom’s First Night on Islanders Top Line

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is blunt on the latest hits of COVID-19.

Letang Blunt On COVID-19: This Thing’s Not Going Anywhere

The Toronto Maple Leafs have some special players on their roster contributing this season.

Five Takeaways: Turns out that the Maple Leafs have some special players, too

New Vancouver Canucks President Jim Rutherford says “plenty of work to do.”

New Canucks President Rutherford Says “Plenty of work to do”

The Vegas Golden Knights got into a heated scrum with the New Jersey Devils last Thursday.

Gutless: Golden Knights React to Devils Scrap, 3rd Period Scrum Explained

Virginia native Joe Snively gets call up for the Washington Capitals.

Virginia Native Joe Snively Gets Call Up, Could Make Capitals Debut vs. Kings

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[…] The San Jose Sharks will not play another game before the Christmas break. Despite not having any members currently on COVID protocol, all games involving matchups between U.S. and Canadian teams have been postponed due to border concerns. The Sharks had two games had two more games scheduled before the holiday break, the first against the Vancouver Canucks and the second against the Edmonton Oilers. Due to the spread of the Omicron variant, stricter protocols have been put into place around the NHL. (San Jose Hockey Now) […]

[…] Tomas Hertl and Jonathan Dahlen to COVID […]

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