The Vancouver Canucks COVID problems worsened Friday with five more players added to the National Hockey League COVID-19 protocol list, bringing the team's total number to seven.
Defencemen Alex Edler and Quinn Hughes, forwards Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel and goaltender Braden Holtby were added on Friday. They join forward Adam Gaudette and defenceman Travis Hamonic, who were put on the list earlier this week.
An unnamed Canucks coach is also under COVID protocols.
On Twitter, club owner Francesco Aquilini said, "Our thoughts are with the affected players, staff and their families. Health comes before everything else."
Although not all 31 teams had reported, Friday's COVID protocol list named 15 players league-wide, meaning Vancouver's seven accounted for almost half of the names.
Gaudette was pulled from Tuesday's practice following a positive test result and added to the NHL's protocol list that afternoon.
Canucks head coach Travis Green would not say if Gaudette had tested positive for a variant.
Hamonic was added to the list on Thursday.
On Thursday, the Canucks had four upcoming games postponed, including the game scheduled that night versus the Calgary Flames.
At the time the NHL said pending test results in the coming days, the Canucks would be able to return to game action April 8, with no practices before April 6.
It's unclear how the addition of five more players might affect the remainder of the season.
A player under COVID-19 protocols has not necessarily tested positive for the virus.
The league's protocols require players and staff to be tested daily. Any time an individual's initial test comes back positive, the lab does a second test on the initial sample.
If the second test is negative, a second sample is collected. But if that sample returns a positive result, it's considered to be a "confirmed positive."
The league requires individuals with positive tests to self-isolate for 10 days, and for close contacts to self isolate for two weeks.