Due to a rise in COVID cases the Montreal Canadiens have hit pause on their season until after Christmas.
The NHL announced early yesterday that all cross-border travel has been postponed until Dec. 26th at the earliest. The decision postponed the Habs road trip to New York and New Jersey until a later date. The Canadiens game against the Boston Bruins set for Saturday night had already been postponed.
If players were diagnosed with COVID while in the United States, they would have been forced to quarantine up to 10 days. That would have likely resulted in them missing Christmas with their family. So bravo to the NHL for recognizing the potential peril of continuing to try and plow through the schedule before the holidays.
The Montreal Canadiens also announced that forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Laurent Dauphin have been placed in the league’s COVID protocol. The Habs also added forwards Joel Armia and Mathieu Perreault to injured reserve due to undisclosed injuries.
Late yesterday the team decided to shut down their training facility in Brossard. The Habs also paused all team related activities until after Dec. 26th. In a statement, the club wrote, “The Canadiens organization has followed, and will continue to follow, all recommendations regarding the health and safety of its players, staff and the community, as put in place by the NHL as well as local authorities.
No walk in the park
Some across the NHL have been critical of the abundance of caution the league is using to combat the rise of COVID cases. Most players have had mild symptoms or have been asymptomatic after testing positive for the virus.
But Habs forward Brendan Gallagher was back at practice yesterday morning for the first time since being placed in the league’s COVID protocol Dec. 1st. He explained that the virus took something out of him. Even as someone who has been double vaccinated.
“I wasn’t able to do anything for the ten days,” admitted Gallagher yesterday. “The first couple of days I had some pretty tough symptoms. It (hit) me hard. So I was kind of just laying there, fighting it. But after two days I was good.”
If a professional athlete can be knocked on their ass even after being double-jabbed, the NHL and the Montreal Canadiens have made the right decision to put a stop to everything until after the holidays.
Stay safe everyone.
More content to come over the coming days on MHN!