Well this sucks.
On the eve of their first regular season game, the Seattle Kraken placed four more players in the league’s Covid protocol alongside Calle Järnkrok, who has been there since last Friday.
Updates from Hakstol: Blackwell out indefinitely. Gourde is day-to-day. Johansson, Jarnkrok, Oleksiak, McCann, Donskoi are in Covid protocol— Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi) October 11, 2021
The most important thing to note is that Seattle has already reported a 100% vaccination rate among players. We don’t know whether the players listed here tested positive for COVID-19 or were instead in close contact with someone who tested positive. There are no reports yet of any experiencing symptoms, which is encouraging as it relates to their overall health. We can be hopeful that they’ll all be back at full strength soon.
As it relates to the opening night lineup, it appears that the recently acquired Alex Barré-Boulet will have a good chance at suiting up for the team he became a part of mere hours ago, assuming the travel schedules work out to get him to Vegas early enough. Alex Wennberg seems the likely choice to replace Jared McCann as the top-line center to start the year. Meanwhile Ryan Donato and Morgan Geekie will be without Joonas Donskoi, a frequent linemate in the preseason. Mason Appleton could potentially slot in on the right side of that line, which would leave Brandon Tanev - Riley Sheahan - Nathan Bastian as the only untouched line we’ve seen much of in training camp. The fourth line is anyone’s guess, but Kole Lind is expected to be there as he’s still practicing with the team despite being sent to Charlotte last week. Assuming Barré-Boulet arrives in time, we will probably see Lind join him and Alex True as the fourth line tomorrow night against Vegas.
Players are required to return three negative test results and allow at least 48 hours to pass prior to returning to the team to get out of the protocol, which puts all players affected in jeopardy of missing more than just the season opener as well.
There’s still hockey to be played tomorrow night that we can be excited about, it’ll just look a little different than we maybe imagined it would over the weekend. But first and foremost, we wish every player nothing but good health and a speedy recovery as they quarantine.