Florida Panthers add 5 players to NHL’s COVID-19 protocol

Teammates congratulate Sam Bennett of the Florida Panthers after he scored a goal against the Colorado Avalanche at the FLA Live Arena on October 21, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Joel Auerbach, 2021 Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Several members of the Florida Panthers have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and will not be available for at least the team’s next game.

Panthers players Sam Bennett, Carter Verhaeghe, Radko Gudas and Brandon Montour, as well as a member of the team’s traveling party, joined Ryan Lomberg in the COVID-19 protocol, the team announced Wednesday.

Lomberg had previously entered the safety protocol on Tuesday, prior to Florida’s home game against the Ottawa Senators.

With the emergence of the COVID-19 omicron variant, cases have been steadily increasing across North America.

Over the past few days, teams from across the NHL landscape have placed dozens of players on the Covid list.

The Calgary Flames, which currently has 16 players in the league’s protocol, has had four games postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tuesday’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild was postponed following a slew of positive tests among the Hurricanes. Carolina has six players, including Sebastiian Aho, Jordan Staal and Andrei Svechnikov, on the Covid list.

The Nashville Predators announced six players had entered the protocol on Wednesday after the Vancouver Canucks added four on Tuesday, and overall the list of players on the Covid list includes Mathew Barzal, Brad Marchand, Devon Toews, Robby Fabri, Patrice Bergeron and Ryan McLeod.

As of now, the Panthers game scheduled for Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings at FLA Live Arena is still set to be played.

Florida will likely recall reinforcements from the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, as they did Tuesday with Aleksi Heponiemi.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.