SNAPSHOT: Coach DJ Smith, five other Senators organization added to NHL protocol list



The roster includes goalkeeper Filip Gustavsson, as well as video coach Mike King and three other club support staff.

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The Sunshine State has not been kind to the Ottawa Senators.

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The Senators were hit by another round of COVID-19 on Tuesday when head coach DJ Smith was among six other people in the organization added to the league’s protocol list.

The roster includes goalkeeper Filip Gustavsson, as well as video coach Mike King and three other club support staff. That brings the total number of positive cases in the Ottawa camp to seven because assistant coach Davis Payne was placed on protocol on Monday.

Smith, a father of three, has been staying at an Ottawa hotel since the Philadelphia team returned early Sunday morning when in Gustavsson’s case, this is his second fight with the virus. He got it while playing for Sodertalje SK in Sweden last season.

“It’s scary,” Smith said before facing the Flyers on Saturday. “You hope that if you get it or your team (has an outbreak), or more importantly family members and the elderly with weakened immune systems, they don’t really get it badly.” .

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“I was reading the Windsor Star (her hometown newspaper) and it’s real. There are still deaths and it’s a scary time for everyone. We continue, we do everything we can with the coaches and the doctors. (Senators owner Eugene Melnyk) is pulling out all the stops to try and protect everyone, but right now it looks like this thing is spreading worse than it has (in the past).

Payne remained in Philadelphia, but he has a home in North Carolina, so he’s been isolating there since testing positive.

Staff and players have been testing daily at the Canadian Tire Center since returning from the club.

The Senators ended their trip to Florida and Philadelphia with a 4-3 loss to the Flyers on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center. This is the second fight with COVID-19 the club are facing this season after 10 players and associate coach Jack Capuano were placed on protocol in early November.

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After postponing three games last month due to the outbreak, the club’s three home games this week must be rescheduled. The Senators were supposed to host Boston on Sunday, St. Louis on Tuesday and Carolina on Thursday, but the NHL has determined the best approach is to suspend the season until Boxing Day.

As it stands, the Senators face the Washington Capitals on Monday at 7 p.m. at Capital One Arena, but that game is yet to be determined. The club are also said to host the Bruins on Wednesday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on a New Years Eve morning before facing the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1 at the Scotiabank Arena.

The club could also have difficulty building a squad if they face the Capitals with Gustavsson in isolation. Eighteen players and staff from the club’s AHL branch in Belleville also came into contact with COVID-19 during the club’s recent road trip. That’s more than half of the 35 people who were on the road, showing how quickly this variant is spreading.

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The best case scenario for the Senators would be to see the club shut down until at least January 5, then a decision can be made.

If the Senators play against the Capitals, the club could bring back goaltender Matt Murray from Belleville because he is not among the positive cases. Murray has only played two games since being sent to Belleville, so there is a possibility that he will be brought back.

The NHL will announce on Wednesday that its players will not go to the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, which will free up February to schedule more dates. The players have been told they will not have three weeks off due to the decision, but they could benefit from an extended week while making up for rescheduled games.

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The Omicron variant overtook the Delta variant as the dominant strain. It’s moving like wildfire and, with six more people added to the roster on Tuesday, the Senators know they probably aren’t out of the woods, and that’s why every precaution is being taken this week, including not return to the ice.

CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN

Defender Jake sanderson was named captain of the United States team on Tuesday night.

The club’s No.5 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft has been named for the World Junior tournament in Edmonton / Red Deer which kicks off Boxing Day.

Sanderson, who is in his second season at the University of North Dakota, makes the US team for the second time with his teammate Tyler Kleven.

“The strength of this team is their leadership, and we have a group of guys who have earned the letter on their shirts both on and off the ice,” said the USA coach. Nate leaman . “There are even more leaders in our locker room. We’re excited about this group overall, and for us to be successful every player will need to find a way to lead.

Sanderson has had a solid year at UND and this is also Kleven’s second chance to attend.

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Twitter: @sungarrioch

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