Defenseman Jordan Oesterle and forward Adam Erne are the latest Detroit Red Wings to enter the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. That’s brings the total to 11 players now. Head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay are also in COVID-19 protocol.
Oddly enough, Oesterle is the first defensemen to be entering the protocol. The other players in COVID protocol include nine forwards and goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
Prior to Oesterle and Erne, forwards Sam Gagner and Joe Veleno were added to COVID protocol on December 19. The day before saw Nedeljkovic entering the protocol.
Forwards Carter Rowney and Givani Smith, Blashill and Tanguay were all entering COVID-19 protocol on December 17.
This outbreak started when forwards Michael Rasmussen and Robby Fabbri were put into protocols on December 15. The following day saw the Wings playing at Carolina, losing 5-3 to a Hurricanes team that already had six players and a trainer out with COVID-related issues.
Steady Parade Of Red Wings
Since that game there’s been a steady parade of Red Wings into COVID-19 protocol. Detroit played Saturday and won 5-2 over the New Jersey Devils at Little Caesars Arena. The Red Wings roster for that was including defenseman Dan Renouf and forwards Kyle Criscuolo, Taro Hirose, Riley Barber and goalie Calvin Pickard. All of those players were call ups from Detroit’s AHL farm club, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
As well, Grand Rapids head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier ended up coming in to work the bench along with Red Wings assistant coach Doug Houda.
“As long as we have bodies, players that we can recall, we’ll ice the best team we can and go from there,” Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said at the time.
On Sunday, the NHL made a decision regarding the ailing Red Wings. The league chose that opting to shut the club down was the best choice under the circumstances. Earlier in the week saw the NHL making the decision to postpone Detroit’s December 20 home date with the Colorado Avalanche. The reasoning for that choosing was due to an outbreak amongst the Avs team. Following the Sunday decision from the NHL, the Red Wings’ December 23 game at Minnesota against the Wild wound up also being designated for postponement.
The Wings are next on the schedule to play on Monday, December 27. That game would be at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.