NHL delays Canucks' return, will revise schedule

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

The NHL is delaying the Vancouver Canucks' return following their COVID-19 outbreak, the league announced Thursday.

Vancouver was supposed to resume its season - which has been on pause since March 26 - Friday versus the Edmonton Oilers. That game was officially postponed Thursday, and Saturday's matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs is expected to be delayed as well, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The league expects to release a revised North Division schedule by Friday.

"The decision to extend the period prior to the team's resumption of play was made to provide club staff and players with additional time for recovery and preparation following its recent COVID outbreak. The NHL made the decision with input from the league's, NHLPA's, and club's medical groups," the statement read.

Canucks forward J.T. Miller voiced safety concerns on Wednesday, saying, "This is about the health and safety of our players, their family, and their children."

Wednesday night, the Canucks held a video meeting with the NHLPA, according to Thomas Drance of The Athletic. Team doctors also evaluated players Thursday morning to determine if they were healthy enough to play Friday, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

As many as 21 players on the Canucks' roster tested positive during the outbreak, with many experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. As of Thursday evening, three players - Nils Hoglander, Nate Schmidt, and Jake Virtanen - remained on the NHL's COVID-19 list, per Joshua Clipperton of the Canadian Press.

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NHL delays Canucks' return, will revise schedule
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