What a long, strange trip it’s been for Brock Boeser.
After quarantining on both sides of the border, Boeser finally practiced with his Vancouver Canucks teammates again today in South Florida. He hasn’t suited up for a game since December 16, with the team announcing that he entered COVID-19 protocol on December 29.
Speaking with the media for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19, Boeser spoke about the frustrating and confusing process that led to him spending more time in quarantine than necessary.
“I think there was a lot of miscommunication on what was agreed on, and what actually happened,” Boeser said.
Boeser first spent five days quarantining in a hotel room in Anaheim, where he spent his days working out, watching television shows, and playing video games — getting an Xbox sent to his room to help cure the boredom.
“The WiFi wasn’t great so I couldn’t play Fortnite,” he quipped.
The Canucks played three games in four nights without him, so that gave him something to watch as well.
After five days in Anaheim, Boeser was allowed to travel back to Canada, where he expected to quarantine for five more days.
It ended up being longer.
“Quarantined another five days and [the government] still wanted us guys to quarantine more. Those other guys [Phil Di Giuseppe and Justin Dowling] are still stuck [in quarantine] until Wednesday, so I feel really bad for them. It’s just a really crappy scenario.”
As a US citizen, Boeser was allowed to re-enter the United States, where the Canucks begin a five-game road trip tomorrow in Florida. Di Giuseppe and Dowling are Canadians, so they’re still stuck in quarantine back in Vancouver.
Boeser said the Canucks were expecting to quarantine for another five days upon their return to Canada, for a total of 10 days. What they found out was that the Canadian government wanted them to quarantine for an additional 10 days — a 15-day total.
“It’s just frustrating. Us guys quarantined like we were supposed to. I’m not sure who exactly talked to the government,” Boeser added.
“Everyone knows that 15 days is way too long for someone that’s had COVID, especially when the quarantine has been reduced to five days for almost everyone. It’s just really frustrating for sure. Us guys wouldn’t have flown back if we knew that situation was going to happen. We would have all stayed in the States. I feel terrible for the guys that are still locked up.”
Quarantine rules are becoming increasingly confusing for NHL players.
Late last month, the NHL shortened isolation periods for players who test positive from 10 days to five days if they produce a negative test and are asymptomatic. The new rule, which is in line with an updated recommendation from the CDC in the United States, doesn’t apply in Canada though.
Look no further than Elias Pettersson, who joined COVID protocol on January 5, but was on the ice today with his teammates five days later. Pettersson said he was asymptomatic. Jason Dickinson also returned to practice, after entering protocol on January 1.
Di Giuseppe (who entered protocol on December 29) and Dowling (December 30) still have to wait, however.
“It’s confusing,” Boeser summarized.
"It’s a big test for our group but it’s a test we need. You want to play the best and beat the best. We’re excited to be back together.”
🗣 Brock Boeser speaks to the media after practice in Florida pic.twitter.com/B0OaizH90Y
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 10, 2022