The Toronto Maple Leafs announced winger William Nylander will not play Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens as a precaution after he came in contact with a potential positive case of COVID-19.
Forward Alexander Barabanov will take Nylander’s place.
“For precautionary reasons, William Nylander will not play tonight vs Montreal as he has had exposure to a possible positive case with a close contact outside the team,” the Maple Leafs tweeted.
“Nylander is isolating and the situation will be re-evaluated tomorrow pending the results of further testing.”
For precautionary reasons, William Nylander will not play tonight vs Montreal as he has had exposure to a possible positive case with a close contact outside the team.
Nylander is isolating and the situation will be re-evaluated tomorrow pending the results of further testing.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) April 7, 2021
The Leafs confirmed the game will be played following consultation with the NHL.
This is the first time this season a Maple Leafs player has been held out of the lineup due to a COVID-19-related issue.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston says the incubation period from when Nylander had the possible exposure to when he skated with teammates Wednesday morning isn’t believed to have been long enough for him to be considered contagious.
Nylander has amassed 13 goals, 17 assists, and 30 points in 39 games this year.
The Maple Leafs host the Habs tonight before playing the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
On Wednesday, the Vancouver Canucks announced that 25 players and coaches have tested positive during a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus.
It is now the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season.
The team issued a statement Wednesday saying 21 players, including three from the taxi squad, and four members of the coaching staff have tested positive, and one other player is considered a close contact.
“This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes,” the statement said.
The biggest previous COVID-19 outbreaks in the NHL were all in the U.S.
The Dallas Stars had their first four games postponed after 17 players tested positive, most of whom were asymptomatic.
The New Jersey Devils had 19 players on the COVID protocol list and seven games postponed, while the Buffalo Sabres had nine players on the list and six games postponed.