SUNRISE, Fla. – Just as the Florida Panthers were preparing to face their biggest test of the young season, news struck that one of their top players would not be on the ice.
Panthers forward Anthony Duclair was a new addition to the NHL’s daily Players Unavailable Due to COVID Protocol List when it came out on Thursday afternoon.
That meant the top line winger would miss at least Florida’s Thursday night game against cross-state rival Tampa Bay.
There likely won’t be any update on Duclair’s status as team is not obligated to reveal any additional information beyond the player being on or off the list.
According to the NHL, No additional detail will be provided either by the League or the Club, including the precise reason the Player is unavailable or how long he might be out.
It’s also worth noting that a player’s appearance on the league’s COVID list does not mean the player has tested positive for COVID-19.
Per the NHL: Such “COVID Protocol Related Absences” can be the result of a number of factors including, among others: (1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact in accordance with the Positive Test Protocol; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 Protocol.
Duclair has been a mainstay on Florida’s highly dangerous top line, along with Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe.
Though he has yet to find the back of the net, Duclair is tied for the team lead with six even strength points.
Florida plays its next three games against the Lighting, with Thursday and Saturday’s games coming at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Monday the scene shifts to Amalie Arena in Tampa.