Five Kraken players in COVID protocol before first game
Seattle Kraken center Calle Jarnkrok. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Just after the Vegas Golden Knights announced that Mattias Janmark is in the COVID protocol, their opponent for tomorrow night had some even worse news. Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol told reporters including Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic that Calle Jarnkrok, Marcus Johansson, Jared McCann, Jamie Oleksiak and Joonas Donskoi are all in the COVID protocol.

Just like with Janmark, it is important to remember that inclusion in the protocol does not mean that a player has tested positive for coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person. Included in the NHL’s list of possible reasons for someone being on the COVID Protocol Related Absences list–which actually won’t be released for the first time until tomorrow–are the following:

(1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact in accordance with the Positive Test Protocol; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 Protocol.

Still, this is troubling news for a Kraken team that is expected to play the first game in franchise history tomorrow. Clark notes that the team is trying to get Alex Barre-Boulet, claimed off waivers today from the Tampa Bay Lightning, to Vegas in time to play tomorrow night. Losing Jarnkrok, Johansson, McCann and Donskoi from the forward group is taking a huge chunk of the team’s offensive potential off the ice, though it is not confirmed yet if all of them will miss tomorrow’s game.

The team will have to make some adjustments to the roster before today’s deadline, not exactly the start that GM Ron Francis was likely hoping for as the Kraken get ready to take the ice for the first time.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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