There could be no more human aspect to the Vancouver Canucks’ entanglement with COVID-19, nor a more immediate reminder of priorities, than defenceman Travis Hamonic being added Thursday to the NHL’s COVID protocol list.
He joined winger Adam Gaudette and an unidentified member of the coaching staff on the team’s COVID list as the NHL announced the postponement of another three games for the Canucks, who were supposed to end a six-day schedule break Wednesday at Rogers Arena against the Calgary Flames.
Other Canucks players will continue to self-isolate and Vancouver will not practise again until at least next Tuesday and won’t play any sooner than next Thursday’s road game against the Flames, the NHL said in a press release.
These are minimum target dates. The Canucks could be shut down longer pending further daily testing for COVID-19 and its variants.
Gaudette was pulled from practice on Tuesday when his Monday test for the coronavirus came back positive 24 hours later. After an expedited round of tests on Wednesday, the league postponed the Canucks-Flames game shortly before puck drop that night.
The addition of Hamonic to the COVID protocol list should frighten any parent.
Playing for the Flames last season, the 30-year-old defenceman from St. Malo, Man., opted out of the summer Stanley Cup tournament after his daughter, Charlie, suffered a serious respiratory illness when she was eight months old.
He explained his decision not to play in this achingly-honest statement in July: “Like every parent, everything we do is to provide and protect our kids and try to take away any suffering they may endure. Last year, we spent the longest, scariest and hardest week of our lives by our daughter's hospital bedside. We were unsure of what would come next. But with God's strength, our little girl fought her respiratory virus and recovered during that long week. We were helpless and couldn't do anything to help her except hold her little hands, kiss her head and pray. We saw what a respiratory virus can do to our healthy little girl. And it's something no parent wants or should go through. Now, blessed with our second child, a baby boy, the risk of today's COVID-19 pandemic is a very difficult one to weigh as parents.”