Medicine Hat News

Miller: Player safety ‘impossible to achieve’ with gruelling Canucks schedule



J.T. Miller says it will be tough for him to return to action when the Vancouver Canucks play their first game in over three weeks.

He can’t imagine how hard it will be for his teammates who have just recovered from a COVID-19 infection to play a gruelling end to the season while trying to stay healthy.

“This is going to be a really tough challenge,” Miller said on a video conference Wednesday, a day before the Canucks were set to return to practice for the first time since a COVID-19 outbreak tore through their locker room.

“Even for me, skating a couple of times, my lungs are screaming and not in game-shape at all right now from sitting around and not doing much.

“I couldn’t imagine what these guys are going to have to go through to get back and be ready to play at a high level.”

Twenty-two Canucks players and four members of the coaching staff have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 30. The team hasn’t played since March 24, with eight games postponed up to April 14.

The Canucks were down to seven players on the NHL’s COVID protocol list released Wednesday: defencemen Jalen Chatfield, Alex Edler and Nate Schmidt and forwards Jayce Hawryluk, Nils Hoglander, Zack MacEwen and Jake Virtanen.

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