The Carolina Hurricanes are arguably the most promising team of the opening month and a half of the 2021-22 NHL season at 14-2-0 but confirmed some bad news ahead of Monday's game at the 8-8-1 San Jose Sharks.
Carolina announced that defenseman Ethan Bear tested positive for COVID-19 in San Jose and, thus, has entered the league's coronavirus-related protocol:
#Canes defenseman Ethan Bear received a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 today in San Jose. He will continue to be monitored by the Hurricanes’ medical staff and follow the protocols set forth by the National Hockey League.— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) November 22, 2021
According to Chip Alexander of The News & Observer, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour told reporters following Monday's morning skate that Bear "was not feeling great" and could miss the Sharks game. Carolina previously announced that all players and staff members are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Per ESPN stats, Bear has notched one goal and five assists and is averaging slightly over 18 minutes of on-ice action per game this fall. As Jackie Spiegel noted for Sporting News, a player labeled a confirmed COVID-19 case who experiences symptoms must isolate away from team activities for a minimum of 10 days before he can potentially be cleared to return. Considering Brind’Amour's earlier comments, Bear seems on track to be out for at least six games.
Carolina plays at the 5-12-1 Seattle Kraken on Wednesday.