No additional positive COVID tests for Islanders; clash with Rangers still on

Islanders mailbag UBS Arena
Kevin Kane/KK Photo Images

New York Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced on Wednesday evening that his team has had no additional positive COVID-19 tests to add on to the seven players that have already been placed in league protocols for the virus. 

There is a catch, however, as the results of additional pregame tests taken by the team won’t be revealed until roughly an hour-and-a-half before puck drop of Wednesday night’s game against the crosstown-rival Rangers at UBS Arena.

Additionally, Lamoriello said that Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Adam Pelech, Andy Greene, Zdeno Chara, Ross Johnston, Kieffer Bellows — the seven who have tested positive over the past week — have yet to test negative.

Add the injuries to top defenseman Ryan Pulcok and leading scorer Brock Nelson and the Islanders are currently down nine of their 18 starting skaters from opening night.

Regardless of the Islanders’ COVID outbreak, the NHL has still yet to step in and postpone their games as it did with the Ottawa Senators after 10 players tested positive for the virus. 

Despite being majorly shorthanded, the NHL did not even reach out to Lamoriello and the Islanders about discussing the possible postponement of Wednesday night’s game.

“The league certainly knows the situation that we’re in medically,” Lamoriello said. “What we do is get prepared as we always would.”

Clouding this entire process is the lack of protocols set forth by the NHL to mitigate outbreaks within locker rooms across the league. 

Three players should not make a difference whether or not games are postponed, which appears to be the case in comparing the NHL pushing back games for the Senators earlier this month while seemingly turning a blind eye to the Islanders. 

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