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Flyers’ COVID-19 protocol list grows as return to action nears

The Flyers placed several players and staff members on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list in recent days.

Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers are scheduled to return to action on Wednesday night in Seattle and Thursday night in San Jose. The key word there is scheduled.

Let’s start with the good news. Max Willman was removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, and Morgan Frost and Kevin Hayes are expected to join the Flyers on their road trip. But that’s where the good news ends.

The Flyers placed two players and two staff members on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Sunday and three more players were placed on the list on Monday.

Sean Couturier was placed on the list on December 21st, so he would be eligible to come off sooner rather than later depending on testing. Ryan Ellis and two staff members were also placed on the list on Sunday. On Monday, with the Flyers returning to practice, they added Derick Brassard, Carter Hart, and Scott Laughton to the COVID-19 protocol list.

The Flyers now have seven players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list: Morgan Frost (Dec. 14), Kevin Hayes (Dec. 20), Sean Couturier (Dec. 21), Ryan Ellis (Dec. 26), Derick Brassard (Dec. 27), Carter Hart (Dec. 27), Scott Laughton (Dec. 27).

As a result of this, the Flyers recalled Jackson Cates, Gerry Mayhew, and Felix Sandstrom to the Taxi Squad from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Sandstrom could make his NHL debut this week if Carter Hart remains in COVID protocol.

Thankfully, Chuck Fletcher said that only a few players had moderate symptoms with others asymptomatic.

And, as mentioned above, the Flyers are hoping to get Morgan Frost (on the list for nearly two weeks) and Kevin Hayes (one week) back this week.

All signs point to the Flyers playing on Wednesday and Thursday. They have seven players in COVID protocol, two of which may come off the list tomorrow. The Kraken have six players in protocol, three of which were placed on the list between December 18th and 20th. The Sharks only have four players in protocol currently, all placed on the list prior to December 22nd. The Kings, who the Flyers play on Saturday, currently have five players on the NHL’s COVID list.

Having said that, it’s still very touch and go right now. The Flyers have only had two games postponed due to COVID this season, December 21st vs. Washington and December 23rd at Pittsburgh. The NHL is still postponing games on a case-by-case basis, however.