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Oilers Cancel Practice, Cody Ceci in COVID Protocol

The Edmonton Oilers announced Cody Ceci was added to their COVID protocol list, Duncan Keith is on IR and Markus Niemelainen was recalled.

The Edmonton Oilers got some bad news just as they were about to start practice ahead of a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday and a run of seven homes games in their next eight. Former Penguins defenseman Cody Ceci might not be in the lineup for the Oilers as he’s been added to the COVID protocol list.

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The Oilers announced that Ceci was added to COVID protocol, Duncan Keith was placed on IR and Markus Niemelainen was recalled from the Bakersfield Condors in a corresponding move to the news. The practice was also canceled by Edmonton to take precautionary measures and hope that Ceci is the only one affected.

The Oilers aren’t the only team being hit by this kind of news today as head coach of the Boston Bruins, Bruce Cassidy and forward Tyler Bozak of the St. Louis Blues are also in COVID protocol. That said, this is the first real sign the Oilers might have an issue as they’ve gone their entire 2021-22 season without a loss of players to the infection. Injuries have hit the team but most players have stayed relatively healthy otherwise.

Cody Ceci added to COVID protocol for Edmonton Oilers

This isn’t good timing for the Oilers who are already shorthanded on their blue line. Darnell Nurse is close to returning after a broken finger but still needs to be cleared by the Oilers’ medical team. Keith is out with an upper-body injury and while he skated, it’s not clear when he’ll be back and head coach Dave Tippett said it’s up to the player and how he feels. Slater Koekkoek is also out with an injury and the Oilers are playing with rookie Philip Broberg taking on big minutes. Ceci is the Oilers’ primary shutdown defenseman.

Niemeläinen has suited up for 14 games in the AHL with the Condors this season. He’s scored a goal and added two assists. The defenceman from Kuopio, Finland was drafted in the third round, 63rd overall by the Oilers at the 2016 NHL Draft.

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