Hours after three Seattle Kraken forwards were released, according to the team, from COVID-19 protocol, the National Hockey League announced Tuesday night’s Kraken home game against the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena would be postponed, effectively ending the Kraken regular season schedule leading up to the league’s mandated holiday break, Dec. 24-26.
The game will be rescheduled at a later date, announced by the NHL, and tickets for the originally scheduled game will be honored for the rescheduled date.
The postponement comes on the heels of an additional COVID-19 positive test, the team said on Monday morning, after defensemen Carson Soucy (Dec. 19) and Jamie Oleksiak (Dec. 18) were also sidelined due to COVID-19 protocol.
Update: the Kraken announced Monday afternoon defenseman Adam Larsson has entered COVID-19 protocol.
The Kraken had a practice originally scheduled for Monday at 10:30am PT, but only two players individually made their way to the ice: forward Colin Blackwell, then Gourde, who stayed on ice for approximately an hour to work on individual stickhandling, shooting, and rebound drills.
A team source confirmed Gourde, Blackwell, and forward Riley Sheahan were activated off COVID-19 protocol, while assistant coach Jay Leach awaits his return from protocol, likely as soon as Tuesday.
The Kraken fell in their last game, 5-3 on Saturday to the visiting Edmonton Oilers, who are managing their own COVID-19 breakout issues which have grown since their last game in Seattle. Darnell Nurse and William Lagesson were added to the team’s COVID-19 list today, while Jesse Puljujärvi entered protocol before puck drop on Saturday, also joining Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan McLeod, Devin Shore, Duncan Keith, and head coach Dave Tippett.
The NHL and NHLPA on Sunday announced all games leading up to Dec. 26 involving cross-border travel between the United States and Canada would be postponed, while temporary schedule “shutdowns” of teams would be handled on a case-by-case basis.
The Kraken have three original games needing a newly rescheduled date: Sunday vs. Toronto, Tuesday vs. Arizona, and Thursday at Calgary. So far, nine teams as of Monday afternoon have undergone a complete pre-holiday break shutdown.
The Kraken are next scheduled to play Dec. 27 at Vancouver, and next at home on Dec. 29 against the Philadelphia Flyers at Climate Pledge Arena.