NHL News: Dubois, COVID Protocol List, Samsonov Positive, and What If A Team Can’t Play 56 Games?
Dubois benched

Aaron Portzline: Columbus Blue Jackets Pierre-Luc Dubois only had five shifts in the first period, 3:55 in total ice time. He did not have a shift after the first period.

Mark Scheig: Coach John Tortorella on Dubois after the game: “I’m not going to have a discussion with you guys.”

Pierre LeBrun: “It makes total sense for Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen to want to take his time in a Dubois trade, but if this becomes ugly, easier said than done.”

Three more added to COVID Protocol list

Chris Johnston: Players added to the NHL’s COVID Protocol Absence list include Mackenzie Blackwood (NJ), Sam Gagner (DET) and Jon Merrill (DET).

Samsonov tests positive

Samantha Pell of the Washington Post: Two people with knowledge of what has been going on with the Washington Capitals has said that goaltender Ilya Samsonov has tested positive for COVID. The team found out about the positive test on Tuesday and he’s been in isolation since. First, in Pittsburgh – he didn’t travel with the team back to Washington – and now in the D.C. area.

Samsonov, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov are on the NHL’s COVID Protocol Absence list and are out for at least four games. All four players had hung out with each other multiple times, watching sports and playing video games.

“I know that there was a positive case, and through their tracing and their tracking, the players were honest with what they did,” Washington Coach Peter Laviolette said Thursday.”

Goaltender Craig Anderson has been activated and Connor McMichael was added to their taxi squad.

Testing protocol

Frank Seravalli: The NHL isn’t considering changing their testing protocol at this time. “League and NHLPA believe rapid testing is fraught with accuracy issues, including false positives and false negatives. Meanwhile, NBA considering upwards of 3x tests per day.”

What if a team can’t play all 56 games?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun is asked what would happen if a team has too many games postponed and is not able to fit in 56 games by the end of the season.

“The reality is, the NHL at this point, has not made a determination on that scenario. Bill Daly, the deputy commissioner, told me on Thursday that he expects all 31 teams to play 56 games. Until they get, at a point later in the year, where it sounds like there’s evidence that may not happen then they’ll look at all their options and then make a determination. They don’t want to make one on a hypothetical. So for now, even though it’s obvious that they would have to go on points percentage, the league is not ready to commit to that or announce that.”