The good news: the NHL released another empty COVID Protocol Related Absences list on Sunday, indicating that no one from the Canadiens nor the opposing Vegas Golden Knights was infected in relation to Montreal head coach Dominique Ducharme testing positive. The bad news: another prominent non-player in the series has now tested positive.
TVA’s Renaud Lavoie was the first to report that Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon has tested positive for COVID-19. Vegas has stated that McCrimmon is self-isolating and will follow the NHL’s COVID Protocol and all other local health policies. McCrimmon traveled to Montreal for Game 3 of the semifinal series and, if his positive test is confirmed, will be there for some time. Ducharme was placed in a mandated 14-day isolation following his positive test on Friday.
The timing of this positive test for McCrimmon looks especially bad considering that he and President George McPhee were shown on Friday night’s television broadcast in a suite without masks, in violation of the league’s COVID Protocol. The NHL has reportedly already spoken to the Golden Knights about this issue, but now that it has coincided with a positive test, there has to at least be discussion about a fine, much like how the Washington Capitals were fined when their COVID Protocol violation led to two players being infected. Granted, this is fortunately not a case of a player catching the virus, but the optics are still poor, especially with the league and the Canadian government making exceptions to try to preserve the structure and integrity of the postseason.
The waiting will now continue for another day or two to ensure that there still has been no spread to the locker rooms. In the meantime, Game 4 will proceed as scheduled on Sunday night, as will travel back to Las Vegas.