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Flames Add Coach Daryl Sutter, 16 Others to COVID-19 Protocol

The NHL’s coronavirus situation worsened Wednesday as players and staff from three more teams were added to the league’s COVID-19 protocol list, including seven players, three coaches and seven support staff with the Calgary Flames.

The team, which has already had three games postponed due to its outbreak, said coach Darryl Sutter and two assistants were on the list. The players included Rasmus Andersson, Johnny Gaudreau and others, raising the number of Calgary players in protocol to 16.

In all, more than 130 NHL players have been on the protocol list this season — including more than two dozen in the last two days.

It is a discouraging trend for the league, which plans to allow its players to participate in the Winter Olympics in China in February unless COVID-19 disruptions prove to be too much.

Four teams — Calgary, Carolina, Ottawa and the New York Islanders — have had outbreaks that have forced game postponements, a total of nine in all.

In Boston, Patrice Bergeron became the third Bruins player in two days to enter the COVID-19 protocol, following leading scorer Brad Marchand and fellow forward Craig Smith. All three could be out until late December; coach Bruce Cassidy, who tested positive Nov. 30, just rejoined the team on Monday.

In Nashville, the Predators said coach John Hynes, two assistants and six players, including Mikael Granlund and Ryan Johansen, were now in COVID-19 protocol. The news came one day before the Predators were scheduled to host Colorado.

In the Ontario Hockey League, the Erie Otters suspended team activities Wednesday after 13 players tested positive for COVID-19. Two Erie games later this week were postponed.

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