Virus Outbreak NHL Hockey

Detroit left wing Tyler Bertuzzi is the only unvaccinated Red Wings player going into training camp and faces the potential of missing all of his team’s games in Canada. Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

Tyler Bertuzzi is the only unvaccinated Detroit Red Wings player going into training camp and faces the potential of missing all of his team’s games in Canada this season as a result, General Manager Steve Yzerman said Wednesday.

Yzerman, in his camp-opening video call, said the rest of the organization is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including himself. Bertuzzi is in Detroit for the start of on-ice workouts Thursday but the forward may end up forfeiting over $450,000 in salary for the Red Wings’ nine games north of the border. NHL protocols allow teams to suspend unvaccinated players without pay when they are unavailable to participate.

Boston Coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that the Bruins’ training camp roster is 100 percent vaccinated and therefore will not be subject to additional protocols or travel restrictions during the season. Boston captain Patrice Bergeron said it wasn’t hard to convince anyone to get vaccinated.

“There were no meetings about it,” he said. “I think everyone was on board and did it organically for their own beliefs, for themselves and their families.”

For others, a different decision was made.

“For the foreseeable future entering Canada, you can’t enter Canada unless you’re vaccinated, so that obviously will be an issue when we go to play Canadian teams,” Yzerman said. “Does that change or not? I have no idea. But as of now and under the Canadian laws, I guess, he wouldn’t be able to cross the border, so he wouldn’t play in any games in Canada.”

That includes Detroit’s first road game Oct. 23 at Montreal. The 26-year-old Bertuzzi will be allowed to practice with teammates but must wear a mask around the rink and distance himself when working out in the gym, in addition to other restrictions on the road.

Asked if he was disappointed in Bertuzzi choosing not to get one of the coronavirus vaccines, Yzerman said: “No. It’s his decision.”

“I’m not in a position to force anyone – we can’t force anyone to get vaccinated,” Yzerman added. “Tyler has his reasons, and I’m sure you’ll get a chance to ask him that question.”

Bertuzzi so far is the most high-profile NHL player to be publicly identified as unvaccinated as training camps open around North America. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly estimated the league would have only around 10-15 unvaccinated players by the time the regular season starts Oct. 12.

Veteran defenseman Duncan Keith, who was traded from Chicago to Edmonton over the summer, is in quarantine until Oct. 1 after choosing late in the offseason to get vaccinated, Oilers GM Ken Holland said. He said his team had one unvaccinated player that he did not identify and was not ready to commit to that player’s status for the season.

Others are taking a hard line on vaccination status.

The Columbus Blue Jackets did not invite unvaccinated forward Zac Rinaldo to NHL camp and earlier dumped an assistant coach who declined to get vaccinnated. New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said he was in the process of figuring out what to do with his team’s lone unvaccinated player, with assignment to Europe among the options.

SHARKS: The NHL found no evidence that forward Evander Kane bet on NHL games or tried to throw games after investigating allegations made by his estranged wife.

Anna Kane alleged in an Instagram post this summer that Kane bet on NHL games and was “obviously throwing games to win money,” launching a probe by the league.

The NHL released the findings of that investigation conducted by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP in conjunction with NHL Security.

The league said the investigation included detailed reviews of social media, public data, court filings from Kane’s bankruptcy proceeding and pending divorce and a review of sports betting data and analysis. The league said it interviewed Kane and other members of the Sharks’ organization but Anna Kane declined to participate in the probe.

KINGS: Goalie Cal Petersen has agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings announced the deal for Petersen, an Iowa native and Notre Dame product who signed with the club as an unrestricted free agent four years ago. Petersen’s extension begins in the 2022-23 season. He will play the upcoming season under a three-year, $2.575 million deal signed in July 2019.

Petersen went 9-18-5 last season for the struggling Kings, but established career-bests in goals-against average (2.89) and save percentage (.911). He appeared in a team-leading 35 games while assuming the role of Los Angeles’ No. 1 goalie in the injury absence of Jonathan Quick.

SABRES: Buffalo agreed to terms with defenseman Rasmus Dahlin on a three-year contract worth $18 million, getting the deal done on the eve of the first training camp practice. Dahlin was among the last unsigned restricted free agents around the NHL. The 6-foot-3 Swede has 107 points on 18 goals and 89 assists in 197 games since Buffalo took him with the first pick in the 2018 draft.

With Dahlin’s situation settled, the Sabres focus is now squarely on injured captain Jack Eichel, who was expected to report for his physical after an offseason of trade talks. Eichel’s future with the team is unclear.

BLUES: Stanley Cup-winning general manager Peter Chiarelli has been promoted to vice president of hockey operations for the St. Louis Blues, who also brought back Ken Hitchcock as a coaching consultant.

Former VP of hockey operations Dave Taylor is now senior adviser to the hockey operations department. .

Chiarelli began working for the Blues after he was fired as GM of the Edmonton Oilers in 2019. He was Boston’s GM when the Bruins won the Cup in 2010.

Hitchcock coached the Blues from 2011-17. St. Louis made the playoffs in each of his five full seasons behind the bench. Hitchcock coached Dallas to the Stanley Cup in 1999.


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