Johnny Gaudreau was among seven players, three coaches, and seven support staff the Calgary Flames added to COVID-19 protocols Wednesday morning, pushing the team’s total number of players, coaches, and staff in COVID protocols up to 27 people.
7 players have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol: Rasmus Andersson, Byron Froese, Johnny Gaudreau, Erik Gudbranson, Trevor Lewis, Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Pitlick. 3 coaches are in protocol: Ryan Huska, Kirk Muller, Darryl Sutter. 7 support staff are also in protocol.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 15, 2021
Forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Byron Froese, Tyler Pitlick and Trevor Lewis, defensemen Rasmus Andersson and Erik Gudbranson and goaltender Jacob Markstrom were added to the nine players already in protocol.
Forwards Milan Lucic, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson and Adam Ruzicka, and defencemen Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov and Noah Hanifin entered protocol over the past few days.
“The No. 1 priority for everybody is the health and safety of our players, their families, those close to them, everybody impacted by that,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said in a virtual availability Tuesday. “We have a great medical team. Our people know, whatever they need, we will get provided for them. Let’s not lose sight that everything else is a distant second to that.”
Head coach Darryl Sutter, associate coach Kirk Muller and assistant coach Ryan Huska were also added to the protocol, as were seven support staff members.
The Flames added three members to the list on Tuesday after an initial six on Sunday forced the cancellation of three games.
Calgary was set to take on the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators on the road Monday and Tuesday, and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
No determination has been made on games beyond Thursday.
The Flames are scheduled to play the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Saddledome on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, now we’re dealing with it,” Treliving said. “We’ll go through this and we will get out on the other side of it, at some point.
“When you look around, a lot of other teams in the league have dealt with it, a lot of different sports. And hey, we’re not immune to what society is dealing with. This is unfortunately part of the world we live in today.”
Just six of 20 players in the lineup for Calgary against the Boston Bruins on Saturday are not currently on the protocol list, including forwards Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund, Blake Coleman, Dillon Dube, defenceman Oliver Kylington and goaltender Dan Vladar.