Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman John Marino will be absent from team activities for the near future. The Penguins’ second-year defenseman, who played over 30 minutes as the Penguins’ top-pair defenseman on Monday night against the New York Rangers, will likely miss the Penguins game on Saturday in New York against the New York Islanders.
Marino, 23, was a new addition to the NHL COVID-19 protocols list on Wednesday evening. The defenseman signed a six-year, $24.4 million deal before the season. He played as the Penguins’ top-pair defenseman with P-O Joseph this week and on the power play in Kris Letang’s injury absence.
Being on the NHL COVID list doesn’t necessarily mean the player has tested positive, but could also mean he has been exposed.
A players’ status with an initial positive test remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed. The NHL mandates isolation for symptomatic individuals and requires quarantine for a high-risk close contact. The league also requires isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or quarantine for travel or other reasons.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have not yet released a statement regarding facilities or tracing. The team returned to Pittsburgh after practice on Tuesday and had an off-day on Wednesday.
The NHL does differentiate between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals.
*Per the league, symptomatic players shall be removed immediately and shall be directed to isolate and refrain from contact with other individuals until the confirmation of COVID-19 positive/negative status is established.
*If the individual is at their residence and medically stable, they shall be instructed to remain in place and not come to the training facility or arena until the confirmation of COVID-19 positive/negative status is established.
*A positive test of an individual who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be subject to further confirmatory testing under this Protocol. Such individuals’ COVID-19 positive status will be considered confirmed if, in the opinion of the treating physician(s), there is no basis to doubt the individual’s COVID-19 positive status. These individuals shall be required to isolate until medical clearance is obtained. The Club Physician shall immediately coordinate contact tracing with their infectious disease consultant and local health authority.
*Teams are to begin contact tracing.
*Individuals whose confirmatory test results return positive will be considered a confirmed positive, and they shall be required to isolate until medical clearance is obtained. The Club Physician shall also immediately coordinate contact tracing with their infectious disease consultant and local health authority.
Per the protocols above, if John Marino has tested positive, he will remain in quarantine until he is confirmed negative and cleared to return to the team by medical personnel.
The Penguins games against the New Jersey Devils this week were postponed after 14 New Jersey players were placed in the protocols. By Wednesday, 17 New Jersey players were on the list.
Marino is the first Penguins player to be on the list.