Sharks in COVID protocol expected to rejoin team later this week

SAN JOSE – The Sharks as of now are anticipating having coach Bob Boughner and several players that are in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol rejoin the team when it plays the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday in Denver.

The Sharks have been without Boughner, forward Matt Nieto, and defensemen Erik Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Radim Simek, and Jake Middleton since before their Oct. 30 game with the Winnipeg Jets. Kevin Labanc was placed in the league’s protocol on Nov. 1 and Timo Meier, head athletic trainer Ray Tufts and equipment manager Mike Aldrich were added to the list the following day.

The Sharks begin the road trip with games against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday and the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday before they hold a scheduled practice Friday in Denver.

Sharks assistant coach John MacLean said the plan is for those individuals to meet the team in Colorado. All of the players and staff members are feeling OK, MacLean said.

Canadian travel directives indicate that individuals coming into the country who have tested positive for COVID and are symptom-free can provide proof of a positive test for entry. However, the first positive test must have been conducted at least 14 days ahead of their international travel.

Per NHL rules, players or club personnel who are confirmed positive cases shall remain in isolation until at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours have passed since their last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Also, to exit isolation, a team doctor must conclude that the individual no longer presents a risk of infection to others.

The Sharks are 2-1-1 since team members have gone on the COVID list. Forwards Andrew Cogliano and Jonathan Dahlen first appeared on the list on Oct. 30 but subsequent negative tests for the coronavirus allowed them to return to the team.

Since Oct. 30, Brent Burns has six points in four games and leads the team in average time on ice (28:15). He and Mario Ferraro both played over 30 minutes in the Sharks’ 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils.

GOALIE DECISION: Adin Hill will be starting for the Sharks against the Flames on Tuesday. James Reimer has been the hotter goalie of late with a 2-0-1 record and a .934 save percentage in his last three games, while Hill has gone 0-3-0 in his last three games with a .847 save percentage.

SAME LINES: The Sharks did not alter their forward lines from Saturday’s game to Monday’s practice, as Nick Bonino remained on the top line with Logan Couture and Jonathan Dahlen and Jasper Weatherby centered the third line with Andrew Cogliano and Nick Merkley.

ROSTER ADDITIONS: With the players in COVID protocol not able to rejoin the team until Friday, at the earliest, for its scheduled practice in Denver, the Sharks recalled forwards Sasha Chmelevski and Joel Kellman and defensemen Artemi Kniazev from the Barracuda.

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