Buffalo Sabres said to be ‘furious’ with the Devils over COVID
Yesterday, I told you that the Devils season has been put on hold because so many of their players have been placed in the NHL’s Covid protocols. Now it comes out that the last team the Devils played, the Buffalo Sabres, are very upset with the way it was handled.
A source told The Athletic the Sabres were upset after asking the league and New Jersey for more information about Devils winger Kyle Palmieri, who played Saturday against the Sabres and went on the COVID-19 protocol list Sunday. Buffalo did not receive more information, the source said. The league had postponed the Devils games until Feb. 9, and they have now put Buffalo’s season on hold as well, postponing two games with the Islanders as well as two against Boston. Buffalo had to put star Taylor Hall in the leagues COVID protocol on Tuesday. The Devils, who already had ten players on the list, added five more on Tuesday: star Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Damon Severson, Ty Smith and Matt Tennyson; goalie McKenzie Blackwood came off the list after 12 days. Other Devils already in protocol were Connor Carrick, Aaron Dell, Andreas Johnsson, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod, Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Pavel Zacha and Travis Zajac.
Buffalo is upset because the team feels the whole situation was avoidable; Travis Zajac went on the list Friday, and the Sabres feel they were kept in the dark, even after the inquired once Palmieri was added. Buffalo wound up playing two weekend games against ten players who are now in the COVID protocol and their season is in limbo, too, even though they feel they took all the necessary precautions. The NHL has built in an extra week into the season to accommodate makeup games.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.