Calgary Flames resume skating after extended COVID-19 pause

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CALGARY — The Calgary Flames returned to the ice Sunday for practice after an extended break because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Flames had seven games postponed because of a total of 20 players and 13 staff entered COVID-19 protocol earlier in December.

Goaltender Dan Vladar remained in protocol Sunday, but will able to join his teammates Monday, head coach Darryl Sutter said.

Calgary's last game was a 4-2 home loss to the Boston Bruins on Dec. 11.

"It's been quiet, being home at my house and in the basement of my house for 10 or 11 days. Skated a little bit yesterday and skated today," goaltender Jacob Markstrom said.

"Obviously it hit pretty much everyone around the organization pretty hard. Everybody got sick, but I had probably two days where it was maybe fever and cough and cold-like symptoms and probably a week ago, it pretty much disappeared except for the cough.

"It was fun to see everyone, fun to be at the rink, put the gear on and practice and play hockey again. That's what I've been missing the most."

Sutter, 63, was among those who tested positive for the virus.

"I had a cold, basically, get through it, and you know what? The isolation is the worst part," Sutter said.

The NHL started its holiday break early because of several teams with players and personnel in protocol, and won't resume before Tuesday.

So Calgary's home game against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday was also postponed.

The Flames (15-7-6) are scheduled to play the Kraken in Seattle on Thursday followed by a New Year's Eve home game against the Winnipeg Jets.

"We're working off the league starts tomorrow … and we're playing on the 30th," Sutter said. "We get three practice days, a travel day and a game, back-to-back. I've complained enough about the schedule. It's not going to get any better."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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