It is the storm that will not end. On Monday night, the Vegas Golden Knights admitted that four players have tested positive for the coronavirus. The team facilities were immediately shut down, according to TSN reporter Frank Seravalli.
Per Vegas Hockey Now policy, we will not name the players unless the team or the players publicly do so.
The mini-outbreak is the largest for any NHL team since March when the Ottawa Senators and other NHL and NBA teams also suffered small outbreaks. Officials traced those outbreaks back to the Staples Center in Los Angeles. In July, the Pittsburgh Penguins quarantined nine players after secondary exposure, too.
Cerevalli released the Golden Knights’ statement via Twitter:
“Four Golden Knights players recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Those players have been self-isolating, and all are recovering well. As a precautionary measure, the Golden Knights off-ice player areas (locker room, lounge, gym, training room, and video room) will be closed to all players and team staff through the Thanksgiving holiday.
City National Hockey Arena programming, the Arsenal, and MacKenzie River Pizza remain open at City National Arena and continue to operate under guidelines set forth by the state of Nevada and local health officials. We will continue to follow recommendations and guidance from the CDC, NHL, and our local officials to ensure the health and safety of our community, players, and staff.”
Seravalli also reported family members of the infected Vegas Golden Knights have also tested positive, and more could follow.
The NHL and NHLPA continue to negotiate terms on a new Return to Play format. The NHLPA and agents are still boiling mad over the NHL’s ask that players defer an additional 13-16% salary this season. Negotiations immediately stalled as players bristled.
The salary deferrals and increased escrow for this season could mean players take home only 30-40% of their salary.
VHN will update the story as more details become available.