There hasn’t been much word about how the San Jose Sharks players and staff in COVID protocol are faring.
Yesterday morning, the San Jose Sharks learned that Andrew Cogliano, Jonathan Dahlen, Erik Karlsson, Jake Middleton, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic had tested positive for COVID-19. Head coach Bob Boughner and Noah Gregor also tested positive.
Barracuda players John Leonard, Jaycob Megna, Nicolas Meloche, Nick Merkley, and Ryan Merkley were recalled in their stead, and all played in the San Jose Sharks’ 2-1 victory over Winnipeg.
Today, the San Jose Barracuda announced that Zachary Sawchenko and goaltending development coach Dany Sabourin had also tested positive. In response to these positive tests and the five call-ups, the AHL canceled the Barracuda’s scheduled game at Stockton today.
Those are the basics of the situation: But how are the players in COVID protocol doing?
The San Jose Sharks haven’t been forthcoming with details.
“That’s actually not my department,” acting head coach John MacLean said last night. “The COVID situation, it will be addressed by other people.”
Tomas Hertl offered: “Some guys don’t feel great, some guys feel totally fine.”
The San Jose Sharks announced this morning that they wouldn’t be releasing any updates today.
From #SJSharks, there probably won't be a formal update today on the players/staff in COVID protocol. Day off, but everybody getting tested again. We should get more information on everybody's health tomorrow
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) October 31, 2021
The Sharks are scheduled to practice tomorrow at 11 AM and take on the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
The San Jose Sharks confirmed earlier this evening that the practice would go on as scheduled.
San Jose Hockey Now has received health updates about two players in COVID protocol, Matt Nieto and Jonathan Dahlen.
A source has told SJHN that Matt Nieto is asymptomatic at this time.
Things are also looking good for Jonathan Dahlen.
A source told SJHN that Dahlen is feeling fine and should be cleared soon.
If Dahlen is indeed close to being cleared, this suggests that he’s asymptomatic and his most recent COVID-19 tests have come back negative.
According to the NHL: “Fully Vaccinated Individuals who are, and continue to be, asymptomatic may continue to be tested daily with lab-based RT-PCR tests during their period of isolation. If such individual has two or more consecutive daily lab-based RT-PCR tests which are negative, the Club’s Physician, in consultation with the Club’s infectious disease expert, and if allowable under applicable federal, state/provincial, or local health authority laws or regulations, may apply to the NHL Chief Medical Officer and the NHLPA’s Chief Medical Consultant for an early exit from the isolation.”
In short, a player who has tested positive but is asymptomatic can test out of protocol with consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.
That would make it possible for Dahlen and Nieto to return to the line-up this Tuesday. Nieto, however, is also suffering from a lower-body injury.
Dahlen’s case appears to be a best-case scenario for a positive test, and hopefully, the rest of the San Jose Sharks in COVID protocol follow suit.
Hertl’s update, however, suggested that some of his teammates are indeed symptomatic.
Symptomatic players are required to quarantine for 10 days. That’s been the case for Blake Wheeler, Zach Aston-Reese, and Calle Jarnkrok this season.
Hopefully, the good news holds for Dahlen and Nieto — and there’s more good news in store for the rest of the San Jose Sharks.
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