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Sharks COVID Outbreak Not Over: Labanc Added to Protocol

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Add Kevin Labanc to the San Jose Sharks‘ extensive COVID protocol list.

Clearly, the COVID outbreak that ambushed the Sharks on Saturday isn’t over.

That morning, Andrew Cogliano, Jonathan Dahlen, Erik Karlsson, Jake Middleton, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were placed in COVID protocol, as were head coach Bob Boughner and minor leaguer Noah Gregor. John Leonard, Jaycob Megna, Nicolas Meloche, Nick Merkley, and Ryan Merkley were recalled to play in Saturday’s contest against the Jets.

Labanc also dressed, assisting on Timo Meier’s 2-1 OT game-winner.

7 Sharks in Protocol; Inside One of Strangest Days in Sharks History

On the bright side, Andrew Cogliano came off COVID protocol today and was a full participant in practice. He reported himself as asymptomatic and had back-to-back negative tests to get himself out of protocol.

These were today’s lines, as San Jose Hockey Now saw it. According to the team, Dahlen, Karlsson, Middleton, Nieto, Simek, and Vlasic remain in protocol.

Logan Couture, who missed Saturday’s game for non-protocol reasons, returned to play too. The captain was pleased with how the Barracuda players performed when pressed into service: “[It] just shows how good of a camp it was, how prepared those guys were.”

It’s SJHN’s understanding that Dahlen should clear protocol and be available to the Sharks for tomorrow’s tilt versus Buffalo. Per a source, Dahlen has been asymptomatic since he tested positive over the weekend. Like in the case with Cogliano, a vaccinated player with a positive test can test out of protocol with consecutive negative tests, 24 hours apart.

SOURCES: Dahlen, Nieto Asymptomatic; Dahlen Could Play Tuesday

Acting head coach John MacLean wouldn’t confirm if additional Sharks were coming off protocol tomorrow, but he didn’t close the door on it either. He also suggested that Boughner might be asymptomatic, so the Sharks could be getting their head coach back in short order too.

But obviously, Labanc’s addition to protocol today is a concern — this means the COVID outbreak in the San Jose Sharks locker room might not be over yet.

“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” MacLean offered, “and we’ll be ready for it.”

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