The Boston Bruins are living through a challenging health and safety, as well as logistical, situation right now.
Boston’s list of personnel in the COVID-19 protocol doubled Thursday morning. With Craig Smith, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron already on it, Jeremy Swayman, Anton Blidh and Trent Frederic all were added ahead of the Bruins’ game against the New York Islanders.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated that the team traveled to New York on Thursday morning, so the three new additions to the list were not on the team flight. That’s promising.
In an effort to spend as little time outside of the United States as possible, the Bruins will, in fact, stay in New York overnight and practice Friday on Long Island before heading to Montreal.
“We have a planned practice here in New York,” Cassidy said Thursday morning over Zoom. “We’re going to stay over here before we travel to Canada because I’m sure we’re going to have to test again. There’s always concern, have more people been infected in the locker room? So we’ll test here before we leave for Canada.”
The NHL has attempted not to postpone games, but there have been situations, like the one in Calgary, where that has been needed.
Things are fluid, but for now the Bruins’ trip to Canada remains on.
“I have not heard (about possible postponement),” Cassidy said. “We are packed, ready to go, everyone’s brought their stuff for the full three games. If something changes then obviously something changes, but no, there’s been no conversation that I’m aware of.”
Canada’s quarantine requirements could give some pause about traveling over the border. Carolina Hurricanes star Sebastian Aho tested positive while in Vancouver, and got stuck there as a result.
“There was discussion this morning only because of what happened with Aho,” Cassidy said when asked if players seemed skeptical about going to Canada. “Guys certainly would not want to get — especially guys with families with the holidays, having to spend it in a hotel in Montreal or Ottawa.”
Cassidy did point out that the drive from Montreal (and Ottawa) to Boston is doable, so if Canadian officials allowed it, a player that tested positive might be able to return to the United States since they wouldn’t need to travel commercially. That was speculative, however, and something he suspected the players’ union likely was discussing as teams cross into Canada.