Handful of Flyers remain on COVID protocol list, but could some come off it soon?


The undermanned Flyers flew home Monday following their 7-3 loss to the Bruins in Sunday night's NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game in Stateline, Nevada.

Not long after the Flyers had landed, the NHL's daily COVID protocol list was released. Six of the club's eventual and needed reinforcements remained on the list: Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom, Scott Laughton and Justin Braun.

Since the Flyers' return from their NHL-mandated seven-day shutdown forced by multiple cases of COVID-19 within the team, the club has gone 0-1-1 in two games without those six players.

There are a number of contributing factors for why a player can be placed on the COVID protocol list. A player being out because of COVID protocol does not necessarily mean the player tested positive for the coronavirus.

But given the length of the absences for the six Flyers on the COVID protocol list, it's becoming safe to surmise most if not all of those players likely tested positive. Players who test positive can't rejoin team activities for at least 14 days from the initial positive test. Travis Sanheim was placed on the COVID protocol list Feb. 7 but did not test positive and came off the list a week later.

Head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed that Giroux had tested positive for the coronavirus Feb. 9, which is when the captain and Braun were placed on the COVID protocol list. Voracek was added to the list Feb. 11, Lindblom and Laughton went on Feb. 12 and Konecny was the most recent addition Feb. 14.

Vigneault and the Flyers' staff have stayed in daily communication with the six players.

"We talk on a regular basis — every other day, exchange quite a few texts," Vigneault said last Friday. "Jakey has had no symptoms, so he's champing at the bits here. He understands the situation. It's not easy to spend 14 days at home, it's a challenge.

"They're doing the best they can, they're FaceTiming with their teammates, with their families, with their friends. Once they're cleared to come back, hopefully it won't take them too long to get back in stride and in rhythm and they'll be able to help us."

More: Giroux returns to practice Tuesday; 5 others remain out but are nearing

The Flyers are expected to practice Tuesday before they host the Rangers on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSN).

The team on Monday loaned taxi squad players David Kase, Derrick Pouliot, Felix Sandstrom and Matthew Strome to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms play Wednesday at Binghamton.

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