Alex DeBrincat, Adam Boqvist out at least 2 weeks as Blackhawks hope to avoid COVID-19 outbreak
“There’s an NHL protocol [that is] very clear as far as how things are going to go and making sure anyone who is high-risk is dealt with,” coach Jeremy Colliton said Tuesday.
Alex DeBrincat and Adam Boqvist will miss “certainly two weeks,” potentially more, after being put on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list Monday.
Coach Jeremy Colliton implied but didn’t state that one or both tested positive.
“There’s an NHL protocol [that is] very clear as far as how things are going to go and making sure anyone who is high-risk is dealt with,” Colliton said. “That’s where we’re at. We’ll continue to test every day.”
The Hawks will look to compensate in the coming weeks with a next-man-up mentality.
Forward Matthew Highmore replaced DeBrincat and defenseman Lucas Carlsson replaced Boqvist in the lineup against the Predators.
“We have enough guys and enough depth to step up,” forward Ryan Carpenter said. “Those are two big, important pieces for us, but right now we’re just focusing on whoever’s coming in.”
From a broader health sense, though, the Hawks are hoping the virus won’t turn out to have spread beyond DeBrincat and Boqvist.
Per NHL rules, everyone else must have tested negative in order to travel Monday and play Tuesday. And the Hawks aren’t the only team dealing with this: 21 players on seven teams are on the COVID-19 list.
But the uncertainty remains scary for the group.
“Across the league, we’re understanding that things are delicate,” Colliton said.
“We have to do everything we can to try to limit the spread, keep it out to begin with. And if it does get inside your walls, do everything you can to stop it from spreading. But we’re not going to know.”