HSJ’s notebook: Yzerman uncertain whether asymptomatic players should be tested

I’m very iffy on this theory because asymptomatic players who are battling COVID can still infect their teammates, family, friends and rink workers, but Steve Yzerman broached the subject today, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James noted:

The Detroit Red Wings‘ expanding list of team personnel in COVID-19 protocol prompted general manager Steve Yzerman to question the daily testing mandated by the NHL as the virus has infiltrated pro sports as it has the world.

Wings head coach Jeff Blashill and starting goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic are among seven Wings in quarantine. Around the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche, whose Monday game at Detroit was postponed, and the Florida Panthers have had their seasons shut down through the Christmas holiday break because of an outbreak of COVID. 

“What’s important to know is that all of our players, coaches, the teams around the league — nobody has experienced any significant illness in getting the virus,” Yzerman said Saturday. “It’s not more than, at this point, a minor cold.”

Robby Fabbri, Michael Rasmussen, Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, and assistant coach Alex Tanguay also are in protocol. Tyler Bertuzzi (the only player in the NHL who is not vaccinated) and Marc Staal emerged from quarantine Dec. 13, and Danny DeKeyser has also been in protocol. Yzerman said the Wings are encouraging “our players, our entire staff, to get the booster if they have not had it at this point.”

DeKeyser and Fabbri both have had the virus twice. DeKeyser said he was asymptomatic during the second time, which happened around Thanksgiving. When a vaccinated player does not have symptoms, Yzerman wondered why they are tested.

“At the end of the day — now I’m getting political — our players are testing positive with very little symptoms, if any symptoms at all,” Yzerman said. ” I don’t see it as a threat to their health at this point. I think you might take it a step further and question why are we even testing, for guys that have no symptoms.”

Continued (paywall); it’s dangerous in my opinion to other people, and one must “do no harm” to others.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.