Improved COVID Protocols for Islanders and NHL

On Saturday, the NHL announced enhanced COVID security measures for every team in the league. What do these new security measures mean for New York Islanders?

Keep in mind that these new metrics do not affect what happens with players who test positive. So that doesn’t change Barzal’s current status. These are new preventative measures to stop the spread of the virus throughout the league.

Just a few days ago, the number of players on the NHL’s COVID protocol roster was around 101 players and staff. The league closed the Panthers and Avalanche until December 26 and the Flames until December 23. So these improved protocols are not some sort of random NHL reaction.

So what are these improved protocols? :
-Restricted indoor dining on the road
-Masks in the team’s premises and when traveling
–Means of travel: Bus, planes and hotels
-Daily test
-End of year celebrations are not allowed
-No engagement with fans

Players are also advised to wear higher quality N95 and KN95 masks over cloth masks.

What does this mean for the islands? Well, apart from the obvious slight downside of these enhanced measures, I’m sure they will all be happy with these new mandatory measures.

The Islands know what happens when the team is affected by COVID. They have already gone through an epidemic within the team. For much of November, player after player was on the COVID protocol roster and the team continued to drop points due to the icing of an exhausted team.

As of November 27, the list of islands players in the COVID protocol stood at eight. That’s nothing compared to the Flames’ 19 players on protocol today, but it has left their roster severely depleted of NHL talent. From November 16 (when the first player was added to the roster) to December 2, when most players were off the roster, they went 0-5-0 with a -15 GD. A loss of ten points and probably why they are where they are in the standings.

They don’t want to go through it again. If these COVID protocols can help them avoid it, they will gladly take these improved measures.

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