Two more Hurricanes defensemen in NHL COVID-19 protocol. What that means for the team

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Robert Willett
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The Carolina Hurricanes now have three defensemen in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

The team announced Monday that Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo had been placed in the protocol, joining Ethan Bear. Both will enter quarantine and be monitored by the medical staff as the Canes were to leave Monday afternoon for a road game Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.

Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour was asked about Bear’s status before Sunday’s game against the Washington Capitals.

“I don’t know too much other than he didn’t pass the one (COVID) test and now he’s stuck there (in quarantine) until Dec. 1,” Brind’Amour said.

Asked if everyone else continued to be COVID-free, Brind’Amour said, “Yeah, apparently.”

But things can change quickly. The Ottawa Senators, who play the Canes on Thursday in PNC Arena, have had COVID issues and games postponed with 10 players in the protocol. The New York Islanders have had games postponed by the NHL with eight players in the COVID protocol.

DeAngelo ranks fifth among NHL defensemen with 19 points and has been the quarterback on the Canes’ top power-play unit. Pesce has quarterbacked the second unit while being a key penalty killer.

Veteran defenseman Brendan Smith has filled in for Bear in his absence but the Canes will need to recall players from the Chicago Wolves, their AHL affiliate. Possible replacements include Max Lajoie, Joey Keane and Jalen Chatfield.

The Canes said before the 2021-22 season began that all of the players and staff members had been vaccinated for COVID-19. The Senators said the same.

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