Oilers’ Connor McDavid ruled out of game vs. Maple Leafs, placed in virus protocol

January 5, 2022
Oilers' Connor McDavid ruled out of game vs. Maple Leafs, placed in virus protocol
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The latest sports news:

  • McDavid, 2 other Oilers out
  • Alphonso Davies tests positive
  • OHL commits to finishing season
  • More EPL postponements

The Oilers announced that captain Connor McDavid, forward Derek Ryan and defenceman Tyson Barrie have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol hours before Edmonton was scheduled to face the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

McDavid and Ryan were held out of practice Tuesday after returning positive tests as the team awaited results of further testing to determine their status for Wednesday’s game.

McDavid had tested negative on Monday before playing in Edmonton’s 4-1 loss against the Rangers in New York.

The Oilers also placed forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on injured reserve. Nugent-Hopkins had been out day-to-day since Saturday with an undisclosed injury.

The Oilers also announced forward Zack Kassian has cleared COVID-19 protocols and goaltender Ilya Konovalov has been loaned to the team’s taxi squad.

Goaltender Mike Smith is set to return from an undisclosed injury to start.

Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews told reporters he planned on playing in Wednesday’s game after participating in practice. Matthews had been held out of Toronto’s previous two practices for precautionary reasons after testing positive for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test on Monday, then negative on a PCR test Tuesday.

WATCH | NHL schedule upended by virus:

NHL playing schedule left in disarray by COVID-19

More than 90 NHL games to date have been postponed due to COVID-19, as more players — including Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews — test positive. 2:12

Davies tests positive

Bayern Munich says Canadian star Alphonso Davies has joined the list of players to test positive for COVID-19.

The Bundesliga club says the 21-year-old fullback from Edmonton is well and self-isolating at home.

The COVID news comes just weeks before Canada is scheduled to play World Cup qualifiers in Honduras (Jan. 27), at home to the U.S. in Hamilton (Jan. 30) and in El Salvador (Feb. 2).

The Canadian men, who currently top the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings at 4-0-4, are slated to play Guatemala in a Jan. 22 training match in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Read more about Davies’ positive test here.

OHL commits to completing season

The Ontario Hockey League says it is committed to finishing its 2021-22 season as new COVID-19 measures begin in the province, including a complete restriction on fans at indoor sports venues.

The OHL said in a release that the league’s board of governors met Wednesday morning to address its next steps in progressing with the season despite no fans being allowed at games based in Ontario for at least the next three weeks.

The league said it is in conversation with government and public health officials and will have updates at a later time.

Ontario-based OHL arenas had capacity capped at 1,000 people on Dec. 30 as the province struggled with the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The new measures that began on Wednesday will not allow for any fans in those buildings.

Seventeen of the OHL’s 20 teams are based in Ontario. The other three are based in the United States and not subject to the capacity limitations.

The OHL has postponed 42 games this season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Liverpool outbreak forces postponements

A coronavirus outbreak among Liverpool’s players and staff led to the team’s match against Arsenal in the English League Cup semifinals being postponed Wednesday, adding to the backlog in English soccer caused by the fast-spreading omicron variant.

The English Football League, which runs the cup competition, approved a request from Liverpool for the game to be called off because of a slew of positive tests at the club that has led to the closure of its training ground.

Player availability had already been impacted because of injuries and absences for the African Cup of Nations, which is depriving Liverpool of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.

The first leg that was scheduled to take place at Arsenal on Thursday will now be staged at Anfield on Jan. 13. The second leg will take place at Emirates Stadium on Jan. 20.

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