It wasn’t a matter of if, but when. As the NHL grapples with COVID-19 outbreaks, the Red Wings are the latest team to lose a rash of players and coaches. Saturday morning, ahead of their game with the New Jersey Devils, the Red Wings announced Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, Alex Nedeljkovic, head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay are going to be sidelined:
UPDATE: The #RedWings have placed Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, Alex Nedeljkovic, head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 18, 2021
That means Griffins head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier will stand behind the bend with assistant coach Doug Houda for the time being. The Griffins were slated to have a two-game homestand at Van Andel Arena, but both games were postponed due to the Toronto Marlies entering the AHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Don’t forget that the Red Wings already have forwards Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen in protocol as well. Apparently the show will go on at Little Caesars Arena. I expect this could mean some more call-ups are coming.
The Red Wings were scheduled to play the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, but that game got put on ice due to Colorado dealing with its own COVID outbreak. The whole league is kind of a mess right now, and the NHL seems to be flying blind with the decision-making. It feels an awful lot like things are going to get worse before they get better.
UPDATE: They called some players up.