In NHL debut, Seattle Kraken could miss up to five players to COVID protocol

by 24USATVOct. 12, 2021, 2 p.m. 17
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The NHL is set to debut its 32nd franchise in a media orgy of celebration tonight, so maybe not a great time for a bunch of them to go on the COVID protocol.

Up to five players on the Seattle Kraken could miss the team’s first game due to to COVID.

That’s three forwards, one defender, and a Marcus Johansson on the list on Monday afternoon.

As of Monday night, a handful of those players could be close to returning.

We are obligated to remind you that being on the protocol does not necessarily mean the player has coronavirus or is experiencing symptoms.

The Seattle beat writer for the Seattle Times, Marisa Ingemi (a recommended follow!) reports that the Kraken will also likely be without forward Yanni Gourde, who has a shoulder injury. On Monday the Kraken named defender Mark Giordano as the team’s first captain and released their opening-night roster, including ex-Caps goalie Philipp Grubauer.

Although community spread of COVID in the Pacific northwest is low compared to the southeast, the region has been experiencing the same recent increase in cases as the rest of the country.

Just across the border, Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning confirmed that 32-year-old forward Brandon Sutter is indeed a long-haul COVID case. “They’re calling it being a a long-hauler,” Benning said. “He’s gonna be out for a while. He’s not gonna be back anytime soon.”

Back in April, Sutter spoke to The Athletic about the virus. “The way my lungs had felt the previous few days, being unable to catch a deep breath,” Sutter told Thomas Drance, “I was surprised when I got on the ice and got my heart rate up. I was worried my lungs would feel like they were burning or on fire and really uncomfortable, but I just felt tired.”

Sutter told Drance that getting COVID didn’t change his perspective on the disease “because my view was always that it was less about me and more about the people in our communities that need the help.”

The Seattle Kraken will play their first game at 10 PM tonight in Las Vegas.

This story has been updated.

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