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Red Wings Put Faith In NHL To Assure It’s Safe to Play ‘Canes



Michael Rasmussen, Detroit Red Wings
Michael Rasmussen is one of the Detroit Red Wings on the COVID list

It is unclear how the NHL decides which COVID-infected games are postponed and which are played. It seems risky that the Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings have been cleared to play tomorrow. Two players were placed on Detroit’s COVID list today and six players are on Carolina’s list.

Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov are among Carolina’s COVID players, although the caliber of player who is out shouldn’t really matter.

“I guess I’m relying on medical experts to say that it’s safe,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’re relying on them to be right. I certainly believe that their best intentions are that if they thought they were putting us at risk to spread it that we wouldn’t play the game.”

But Blashill added: “Do I have trepidation? Yes. Am I torn a little bit? Certainly I want to coach and the players want to play, so I’m not torn that way but torn in a sense that I don’t want to expose our guys but I’m also relying that the medical experts certainly have our best intentions. I totally believe that and that they’re putting us in a safe environment. ”

‘Canes-Wild Game Postponed

COVID is aggravating enough, but an added layer of frustration is not understanding why some games get cancelled and some don’t. The Carolina Hurricanes were cancelled in Minnesota on Tuesday, but not for Thursday against Detroit. They have the same number of COVID cases. Michael Rasmussen and Robby Fabbri are out for Detroit.

Detroit Red Wings players Tyler Bertuzzi and Marc Staal were just cleared to play after dealing with COVID.

“Part of the problem when you’re sitting in my seat right now is I don’t have all the information.” Blashill said. “I don’t know exactly when everybody in Carolina got the virus. I know a number of guys tested negative today.”

NHL officials look at this as a medical decision, and medical personnel are consulted before a final verdict is rendered. They considered all of the factors, and the fact no one tested positive today was probably an important factor.

“There’s a balance here,” Blashill said. “It’s kind of like the balance we’ve all faced. You can shut down and not do anything and not spread it, or you can try to work within the parameters. I think that’s what we’re trying to do in trying to get the games in. I think that’s important, too.”