The Blackhawks’ roster is no longer untouched by COVID-19.
Forward Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Adam Boqvist were put on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list Monday, the league announced.
No additional information was immediately available. Players can end up on the protocol list by testing positive, showing symptoms and isolating or coming in contact with someone who tested positive.
DeBrincat and Boqvist are close friends off the ice, so the contact-tracing situation might apply here. If one or both did test positive, they’d be required to isolate for at least 10 days and would miss the Hawks’ next six games at the minimum as currently scheduled.
The rest of the Hawks traveled to Nashville on Monday and are scheduled to play a back-to-back against the Predators on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Teams can, and often do, play games even with some players absent and on the COVID-19 list. The Red Wings were missing five players for that reason Friday and Sunday against the Hawks.
Not since Corey Crawford during the pre-playoff training camp in July has a Hawk publicly acknowledged or missed any in-season time because of the coronavirus, but the team has been more fortunate than many others in that regard.
The absences of DeBrincat and Boqvist will create big holes in the lineup. DeBrincat — with six points through six games — has been playing on the first line alongside Pius Suter and Patrick Kane, while Boqvist was paired with Duncan Keith on Sunday.
Matthew Highmore, Lucas Wallmark or Brandon Pirri could replace DeBrincat. Lucas Carlsson, Wyatt Kalynuk or Nicolas Beaudin could step in for Boqvist.