Rangers Ryan Strome and Gerard Gallant weigh in on NHL COVID testing

On Sunday, the New York Rangers returned back from their extended holiday break for testing and practice. As players waited for test results before hitting the ice, two members of the team joined Patrik Nemeth on COVID-19 protocol.

Ryan Lindgren and Alexandar Georgiev were just two of over 40 players around the NHL that were added to the COVID list yesterday. More are expected to be added league-wide today.

Ryan Strome weighs in on NHL COVID testing

Before the pause, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman raised the question of the NHL’s policy for testing.

“At the end of the day, our players are testing positive with very little symptoms, if any symptoms at all,” Yzerman said. “I don’t see it as a threat to their health at this point. So I think we need to take it a step further and question why are we even testing guys that have no symptoms?”

The Red Wings were shutdown soon afterwards due to their high number of positive tests.

Since Yzerman’s comments, many players have echoed similar statements including St. Louis Blues’ captain Ryan O’Reilly and Winnipeg Jets’ goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

Yesterday, Ryan Strome weighed in citing other league’s that opt to not test asymptomatic players.

“I think we probably have to change the protocols,” Strome said. “Like, the NBA and the NFL are playing. I think the way the other leagues have handled it, obviously it seems to be working and they’re playing games and we’re watching the football games after practice. I think with everything, we have to evolve with what we’ve gone through and I think it’s probably time to look at things.”

Gerard Gallant credits NHL and NHLPA

gerard gallant
Dec 7, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant looks on during the first period of their game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers head coach was asked about the current state of the NHL with COVID that’s led to so many postponements. He was also asked about Strome’s comments and he took a diplomatic approach.

“There’s a lot of people trying to do the best thing they can to keep people safe and that’s the number one factor,” Gallant said. “The NHL ad NHLPA work hard to keep the players safe and our staff safe and that’s the most important thing for me. You want to play games, everybody wants to play games, but there are protocols to go by and I’m on board for that.”

Adam Fox added his thoughts on the situation yesterday noting that he’s not nervous about what’s going on with COVID because of the vaccine.

“We’re all vaccinated and not many guys have been getting sick from it,” he said. “You heard stories last year of guys hit pretty hard by it. This year you see guys coming back and not missing a beat.”

NHL brings back Taxi Squads and more roster protections

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