Photo: Paul Chiasson, The canadian Press
“You are all aware of the policy of the NHL is about players who are not on the rink, and I’m going to ask you to respect that”, said Marc Bergevin.
The director general of the Montreal canadiens, Marc Bergevin, has respected the law of silence imposed by the NHL in terms of injuries and illnesses during the phases 3 and 4 of its recovery plan, refusing to comment on the potential of the COVID-19 within the team-reported by The Athletic.
According to the media online sports, at least three players in the Habs have tested positive to the new coronavirus in the past few days. There were three absentees on the ice at the Bell sports Complex in Brossard Monday morning : defenders Josh Brook, Brett Kulak and Xavier Ouellet.
The Athletic has updated its story Monday afternoon, adding that two of the results would be false positives.
Questioned about the report before the arrival of the players on the rink in the morning, Bergevin has remained silent.
“You are all aware of the policy of the NHL is about players who are not on the rink, and I’m going to ask you to respect that,” said Bergevin.
The NHL announced over the weekend that she was going to manage the ads on injuries and the case of the COVID-19, but does not identify the players or the teams.
Despite this policy, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the opponent of the Canadian in the qualifying round starting on the 1st of August, announced that they have removed nine players from their camp, since they would have potentially had contact with a person who has had a positive test, the COVID-19.
The situation would be even more of a concern in the Canadian, since the attacker’s Max Domi suffers from diabetes of type-1 and is more at risk of developing severe symptoms or complications in case of infection with the novel coronavirus. The Habs announced on Sunday that Domi was going to take the next seven to 10 days to reflect on his participation in the tournament of revival of the NHL.
“I started to have discussions with Max and his agent two weeks ago, explained Bergevin. The decision will be based on the opinion of experts and Max. We want to choose what is best for him.
“All the teams are prone to an outbreak, but the NHL has worked very hard to put in place a security protocol and continues to work hard to ensure that we can make in the cities-poles,” added Bergevin. I talked to the players this morning. We ask them to be careful and respect the protocol. “
Bergevin reiterated his desire to see the Canadian know the longest possible route during the revival, even if we know that one of the eight teams eliminated in the qualification round will have the opportunity to win the first right to speak in the next draft.
With an interesting group of hopes, he believes that the experience of living series will be beneficial to his troops, in spite of the unusual context.
“This will be a never-before-seen — play in a arena empty. This will be different, recalled Bergevin. We will face a team that has more experience in the playoffs, but against that we’ve had a little success this season. This will be a short series (best-of-five games). Everything is possible. I want our players gain the most out of this experience. I don’t see any disadvantage to participate in this tournament. “
The Canadian has also formalized Monday, the arrival of the defender Alexander Romanov. The Russian 20-year-old has signed a contract to enter three seasons, including 2019-2020, an average annual value of 1 177 US $ 500.
Romanov will join his new team to take part in the training camp of the phase 3 plan to return to the game of NHL. He must first submit to a quarantine of seven days before taking part in the camp. It will also be possible to travel with the Canadian in the city bubble to Toronto to train with his teammates during the phase 4.
However, it will not be eligible to play during the qualification round in the face of the Penguins.
This process, however, will allow to Romanov to acclimate to its new environment and take the first season to his contract of hire.
“As a former player, I can tell you that there is a huge difference between your first and your second camp because you know the players and staff,” noted Bergevin.
The d. g. of the Habs was also noted that the Romanovs would have been able to decide to begin the season in Europe this autumn, while the beginning of the campaign 2020-21 NHL will be postponed until at least late November.