Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux and defenseman Justin Braun have been added to the NHL’s COVID Protocol list. The news of at least one Flyers player testing positive was revealed earlier on Tuesday, and now we know that it is both Giroux and Braun on the list.
Giroux and Braun join Travis Sanheim as the three Flyers players on the COVID Protocol list. Shayne Gostisbehere was on the list to begin the season, but has since recovered and joined the active roster.
This is a tough blow for Giroux and Braun personally and the Flyers on the ice. Of course, first and foremost we worry about the health and safety of the players and their families. The NHL has been ravaged by COVID despite taking an “abundance of caution” at times.
If Giroux is forced to miss any time, it will be his first games missed since February 2016.
Hopefully, the NHL can figure something out and get the league operating with safety in mind. There have already been over 30 games postponed in less than four weeks. The COVID list is growing by the day. Something has to change.
While playing in a bubble makes sense, asking players to leave their family to live in a hotel room for weeks or months isn’t fair to them. Perhaps the league could use multiple bubbles with teams playing a few weeks worth of games, leaving the bubble for a few weeks, then going back in. At that point, it may not feel like a season, though. It would be more like a few mini-tournaments leading up to the ultimate tournament that is the playoffs.
All the best to Claude Giroux, Justin Braun, Travis Sanheim, and anyone else that may be affected. Here’s to hoping this is a false positive or close contact, not an actual positive test.
The Flyers are next scheduled to play on Sunday at 6 p.m. against the New York Rangers.