Just when it looked like the Hurricanes were on the other side of a COVID-19 outbreak that has knocked three players out of the lineup in recent weeks, the seemingly never-ending pandemic reared its ugly head again in the Carolina locker room.
Top scorer Sebastian Aho and rookie Seth Jarvis, along with a currently unidentified team staffer, tested positive for the coronavirus and will be left behind in Vancouver to quarantine while the team heads to Minnesota for the final stop of a five-game road trip, a Tuesday game against the Wild.
Defensemen Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo are both set to join the team in Minnesota after completing their 10-day quarantine. Their reunion with the team was delayed because entering Canada — where Carolina played the past four games — has stricter restrictions than traveling within the United States.
The outbreak started when Ethan Bear — Carolina’s other right-handed defenseman — tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago and was forced to quarantine in San Jose. Carolina also concurrently had a flu bug circulating through the team, and the team surely hoped Aho, who missed Sunday’s game in Vancouver because he wasn’t feeling well, was suffering from the flu rather than COVID-19. Jarvis, who is living with Aho when back in Raleigh, played Sunday and assisted on the Hurricanes’ only goal in a 2-1 loss.
Aho was named the NHL’s Second Star of the week on Monday despite having missed Sunday’s game and has had multiple points in five straight games. If the three members of the Hurricanes are forced to quarantine 14 days instead of 10, that would keep them in Vancouver through Christmas and until at least Dec. 27. The team didn’t yet know if the quarantine would be for a minimum of 10 or 14 days.