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17 Players Held Out of Blue Jackets Practice on Friday

The Columbus Blue Jackets held 17 players out of today’s practice out of an abundance of caution with NHL Covid-19 protocols.

In a story broken by Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the Columbus Blue Jackets held out as many as 17 players from today’s skate at training camp, 13 of which are projected to be in the Blue Jackets starting lineup — nine forwards, four defensemen.

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The players were held off the ice today and Group 2 practice slated for later this afternoon has been canceled. All that is being told by the Blue Jackets organization is that these players are being held off the ice out of an abundance of caution for safety protocols in accordance to the Covid-19 regulations. Not much more has been said.

Portzline has added, “do not assume anything regarding positives tests or exposures” but head coach John Tortorella said he does not know what it means long-term and if these players will be available for next Thursday’s regular-season opening in Nashville.

John Tortorella to be fined?
John Tortorella to be fined?

This is likely to cause a few conversations to be had among other teams in the NHL. Whether these players turn out to test positive or not, this is hugely concerning for every single NHL team. It goes to show the team and the players should be taking ZERO risks. If the Blue Jackets have enough of these 17 players out, they can’t ice a full roster, even with their taxi squad.

Which Blue Jackets are Missing?

Among the players missing from practice today were forwards: Emil Bemstrom, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Max Domi, Nick Foligno, Nathan Gerbe, Liam Foudy, Mikhail Grigorenko, Boone Jenner, Mikko Koivu, Eric Robinson, Alexandre Texier. From the blue line: Vladislav Gavrikov, Seth Jones, David Savard, Andrew Peeke, Michael Del Zotto.

The Blue Jackets have been here before for this kind of thing as they closed part of the Blue Jackets’ facilities for two weeks in late November due to a COVID-19 outbreak among players.

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