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Zach Hyman Questionable vs. Panthers: COVID-Related Issue

Zach Hyman of the Edmonton Oilers could be questionable for the game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Is he not alone?

The Edmonton Oilers almost had a fully-healthy lineup ready to go in a must-win game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. While forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and goaltender Mike Smith are still out with injuries, most of the Oilers’ big names were ready to go after some hard practices, some soul searching and a few bump-ins with the media. Unfortunately, it looks like one key forward might be out.

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According to reports, Zach Hyman is iffy for the game due to what might be a positive COVID test. Potentially joining Stuart Skinner on the Oilers’ COVID protocol list, Hyman (undisclosed) may not be available as per Jason Gregor of OilersNation.com. He notes, “Hearing Hyman might not be available tonight for Edmonton. Sounds like COVID-related. Waiting on another test result.”

This would be unfortunate news if true for Edmonton. Most of the team has caught the virus and is now back after being deemed healthy. The two big names who hadn’t caught it were Hyman and Leon Draisaitl. If Hyman is now out, he’ll be a big piece missing for a team that badly needs a win. Perhaps worse, it could indicate that Draisaitl is not far behind. Head coach Dave Tippett couldn’t reveal the lineups because he said, they are waiting on some “test results” that were taken today. That could indicate there is more than one player affected here.

As for Nugent-Hopkins, he skated before the team this morning at practice. Tippett says he hopes both he and goaltender Mike Smith might join practice next week.

When it comes to getting a big win for the Oilers against the Panthers, the team knows they need a victory. Connor McDavid said is his pre-game avail: “We’ve got to turn it around at some point & no better way to do it against a real good team.”

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