Canadiens Evans, Romanov enter COVID-19 protocol ahead of matinee at Florida

·2 min read

SUNRISE, Fla. — With almost two weeks until their next game, and their list of players in COVID-19 protocol growing, the Montreal Canadiens are pausing activities.

The news came shortly after the Canadiens lost 5-2 to the Florida Panthers in Sunrise on Saturday.

Montreal dressed only 11 forwards and five defencemen for the game. Forward Jake Evans and defenceman Alexander Romanov were added to the protocol list just hours earlier giving the Habs 16 players now in isolation.

"Given all the new positive cases arising daily, and for the health of our players and staff, we feel that pausing our activities is necessary at this time. This pause will give our players the time they need to recover so that we can continue the season safely," Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens' executive vice-president of hockey operations, said in a statement.

The pause in operations at Bell Centre also applies to the Laval Rockets, their American Hockey League team.

The Canadiens at least have time to recover. They were scheduled to start a five-game homestand on Tuesday; the Canadiens had games against Washington, Toronto, Buffalo and Columbus postponed because of attendance restrictions put in place by government officials. They won’t play now until Jan. 12 at Boston in a game that was originally scheduled to be held in Montreal.

Between coronavirus-related shutdowns, the NHL’s holiday break and the upcoming postponements, Montreal is in the middle of a stretch where it will play only three games in a 26-day span.

Evans and Romanov joined forwards Brandon Baddock, Paul Byron, Laurent Dauphin, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen and Tyler Toffoli in protocol, along with defencemen Louie Belpedio, Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmunson, Gianni Fairbrother, Jeff Petry and Chris Wideman, and goalies Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau.

Goaltending coach Eric Raymond is also in COVID-19 protocol.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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