Foligno 'felt really guilty' for being 1st Wild player to contract COVID-19

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Marcus Foligno, who was the first Minnesota Wild player to test positive for COVID-19, says he couldn't help but feel responsible for the team's outbreak and subsequent lengthy shutdown.

"I felt really guilty. It's kind of like (I) brought it here," Foligno told The Athletic's Michael Russo. "You never want to be the first one or just, in general, get it. It's a guilty feeling, which is weird because you shouldn't feel guilty. But that's just how it is, and when you're the first one, everyone kind of sees your name pop up first and then the domino effect throughout the team after that."

Foligno last played Jan. 30 versus the Colorado Avalanche before landing on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list. The Wild played two more games Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 before shutting their facilities down as the virus spread throughout the roster.

Minnesota has had six games postponed due to the outbreak while 14 players remain on the league's list. However, general manager Bill Guerin expects the Wild will resume play Feb. 16 versus the Los Angeles Kings, according to Russo.

Foligno believes he got the virus while playing Los Angeles in late January as the Kings dealt with COVID-19 issues. However, the veteran winger accepted his positive test as part of the reality of playing through a pandemic.

"I think there's a lot of protocols in place that make us feel safe," Foligno said. "It's just inevitable. It's tough to say how you can actually stop this thing. The one thing to do is stop the spread. ... You've got to remove the team and quarantine them and have them start back up when everything is safe again."

Foligno is in his 10th NHL season. He had three points through nine games in 2021 before being sidelined. The Wild currently sit sixth in the West Division with 12 points, though they have games in hand on most teams ahead of them.

Foligno 'felt really guilty' for being 1st Wild player to contract COVID-19
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