Hurricanes’ COVID issues postpone Tuesday’s game

Five Carolina players are now in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour and his staff, along with those around the NHL, will be required to wear masks during games this season. (Gerry Broome / AP Photo)

The Carolina Hurricanes played their second and third games of the season without their captain.

It looks like they won’t be playing at all in the immediate future.

The NHL announced that Tuesday’s game in Nashville between the Hurricanes and Predators, a rematch of Monday’s 4-2 win by Carolina, has been postponed “out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel.” The league said the rescheduled game would be announced at a later date.

The release neither mentioned COVID-19 nor if either team was the cause of the postponement, but a source said at least two more players on the Hurricanes have tested positive for the coronavirus. Later Tuesday afternoon, the league announced that four more Hurricanes players — Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jaccob Slavin and Teuvo Teravainen — were in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

They join captain Jordan Staal, who was placed in the league’s protocol Friday after playing the day before in Carolina’s season-opening win over the Detroit Red Wings. It has not been confirmed that Staal or any of the other players tested positive for the coronavirus, and players can also be placed in the protocol due to contact tracing or symptoms similar to those caused by COVID-19.

The Hurricanes (2-1-1) also played Saturday in Detroit, but without Staal. The Red Wings’ Robbi Fabbri and Adam Erne did not play Monday afternoon at home against Columbus after being placed in the protocol.

Carolina’s home opener was scheduled for Thursday against the Florida Panthers, the first of six straight games the Hurricanes were to play at PNC Arena, though without fans. The league and team have not announced if those games will be impacted, but the Dallas Stars — who were scheduled to be the final two opponents on Carolina’s homestand on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 — have yet to play this season after a training camp outbreak led to the league postponing the first four games of their season.

The Stars are scheduled to play their season opener at home against Nashville on Friday. That would be two weeks after six Stars players and two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. That number ballooned to 17 positive tests four days later. All of Dallas’ players and staff have reportedly recovered without suffering serious complications from the virus.