Quarantine concerns loom over NHL participation in Olympics

Dec 14, 2021, 12:50 AM | Updated: 2:51 pm

Anaheim Ducks' Josh Manson (42) celebrates his goal with Trevor Zegras (46) and Rickard Rakell (67)...

Anaheim Ducks' Josh Manson (42) celebrates his goal with Trevor Zegras (46) and Rickard Rakell (67) as Vegas Golden Knights' Alex Pietrangelo (7) skates away from them during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

NHL MVP Connor McDavid calls the idea of potentially having to quarantine for up to five weeks in China following a positive COVID-19 test “unsettling” as the NHL’s participation at the 2022 Winter Games remains up in the air.

The Edmonton captain and one of three players already named to Canada’s provisional Olympic team spoke Tuesday as coronarivus cases and postponements continue to rise across the league.

“It’s obviously going to be a very fluid situation,” McDavid said before Edmonton hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs. “There hasn’t been a ton of information come out, and then there’s that three-to-five week (quarantine) thing … it’s kind of been floating around. Obviously, it’s unsettling if that were to be the case when you go over there.”

The NHL skipped the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, but committed to Beijing as part of the extension to the current collective bargaining agreement signed with NHL Players’ Association. As recently as last week, Commissioner Gary Bettman said the plan was to go, but the NHL has until Jan. 10 to nix the plan without financial penalty if COVID-19 causes enough of a disruption to its season.

“I’m still a guy that’s wanting to go play in the Olympics,” McDavid said, according to The Canadian Press. “But we also want to make sure it’s safe for everybody. For all the athletes, not just for hockey players.”

The International Olympic Committee has said an athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 in China will need to produce two negative results 24 hours apart. If they’re unable to do so, the quarantine period could last from three to five weeks.

Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo — named alongside McDavid and Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby as provisional members of the Canadian squad — said he was not sure if he will be going to China because of the potential of being away from family in a long quarantine. Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner, a Swede, has already said he will not go.

Medical experts for the league and players’ association have a previously scheduled meeting set for later this week to review COVID-19 protocols. All but one NHL player — Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings — is believed to be fully vaccinated, though the league is currently only recomending booster shots.

Asked if the increase in positive tests and postponements were giving him flashbacks to March 2020 when the sports world and much of society ground to a halt, Calgary general manager Brad Treliving wouldn’t go quite that far.

“I don’t think anything is going to feel like that,” he said. “That was a cold slap (to the face).”

The NHL went to every Olympics from 1998 through 2014 before declining to send its players three years ago. Owners have always been lukewarm on the Olympics for a number of reasons, including the disruption to the league calendar.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

Quarantine concerns loom over NHL participation in Olympics