That insidious, invisible virus that shuttered the Dallas Stars camp and delayed the start of their regular season also made an appearance around or near the Pittsburgh Penguins. Saturday morning, just an hour before media arrival at PPG Paints Arena for training camp practice, the Penguins canceled daily activities due to possible COVID exposure.
The team press release stated the move was made “out of an abundance of caution.”
No further details are available at this time. The team will advise when activities can or will resume. The Penguins have a full game simulation scheduled for Sunday night. Monday is a scheduled off day and Tuesday is the final practice before the Penguins open the season against the Philadelphia Flyers at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 13.
As six Dallas players tested positive Friday, their season start was delayed. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will speak on the matter and others Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
In July, the Penguins voluntarily quarantined nine players, including Patric Hornqvist and Sam Poulin due to secondary exposure during their NHL Return to Play training camp in the run-up to the postseason bubbles.
On Friday, the United States reported more than 4,000 deaths from COVID. It was the first time this country crossed that threshold the first phases of the national vaccine rollout are underway.
It should be noted, the Pittsburgh Penguins canceled due to “possible” exposure, not a confirmed exposure. During camp, players who test positive will not be named, but during the regular season, the NHL will list positive players on the injury report.
PHN wishes all safety and luck. The team has done an extraordinary job of allowing media into the arena to cover camp. The precautions, including a sensor-activated hand-sanitizer, have been a welcome sight. PHN will advise as additional information is available.