Buffalo Sabres back on the ice for the first time since postponement due to COVID-19
BUFFALO, N.Y. --- It has been a rough start to February for the Buffalo Sabres. After playing the New Jersey Devils on January 31st, the team had been in quarantine due to the NHLs COVID-19 Protocol. But the Sabres hit the ice again Tuesday afternoon for the first time since eight players and head coach Ralph Krueger were placed on the team's protocol list.
Before practice, however, Sabres GM Kevyn Adams spoke with the media about the entire protocol and how it has impacted the team.
"I have been very proud of our players and staff. They have been following the protocols, been disciplined and our staff has gone way above and beyond putting every measure in place that we can to protect our players," Adams said as he opened Tuesday's press conference.
Photo Courtesy of The Buffalo Sabres
One of the burning topics was could have the games against the New Jersey Devils been postponed because of the issues their team was having in the NHLs COVID-19 Protocol. Adams addressed the question, saying after consulting with the NHL and the Devils, there was no immediate threat to have the games postponed.
"I did have a conversation on Saturday before the game with [NHL Deputy Commissioner] Bill Daly and asked him some questions around what exactly the situation was with New Jersey. Based on the information that he was given, the game on Saturday was decided to be played. But the decision to play is made by the experts," Adams said.
The game for Sunday was also given the green light by the NHL, as Buffalo split the weekend series with the Devils.
But the cause of concern was potentially before Sunday's matchup, as a Devils player who traveled with the team to Buffalo was placed on the COVID Protocol list. But Adams said there was not really any concern from the Sabres players.
"Not that I know off. I don't believe anyone knew going into the game Sunday that there was not any change," he said.
One of those who are currently in the NHLs COVID Protocol is head coach Ralph Krueger. The 61-year-old is symptomatic, but in good spirits, according to Adams.
"I have talked to him multiple times every day and I feel very comfortable that he is being looked after by our doctors and trainers. We will have to see where we go from here," Adams said.
But one positive was the Sabres finally hit the ice for practice Tuesday after over a week layoff due to the protocols. If all goes to plan, the Sabres will be prepared to play their next game, which is home on the 15th against the New York Islanders at 7:00 p.m.