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Breaking: Penguins “sideline” 9 players after potential secondary exposure to COVID-19

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Training camp has already hit a bump in the road

NHL: MAY 15 Eastern Conference Final Game 2 - Senators at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Phase 3 of training camps are opening today in the NHL, but the Penguins already have hit a bump in the road. The team announced on Monday morning, just before practice was set to start, that they are holding out nine players from training camp.

They would add:

The nine players will not participate until they are deemed safe in accordance with NHL protocol and further test results. (3 of 3)

Issues like this will probably be popping up for the foreseeable future as the NHL attempts to restart their season on August 1st.

No players who test positive will be named, but obviously through process of elimination it won’t be too difficult to determine which Pens’ are being held out.

One would think after a few more negative tests, the players will be cleared to rejoin practices and move forward. The other issue is that camp is very short, only a couple of weeks. Having players out and not being able to get ready for NHL playoffs and lose limited times is a tough break.

But as of now, everyone can just wait and make sure no players test positive and go from there. Issues like this show just how difficult it will be for the NHL to be able and restart their season during a pandemic, these teams are players are in such close contact it is not going to take much from one exposure to potentially spread, and quickly, through a large group of people.

So far just one undisclosed Penguin is known to have tested positive for the coronavirus (months ago and has since recovered).

And, well, you can tell who isn’t sidelined based on who will be out there. As of this posting on Monday morning, the team is beginning to play with the players who haven’t been impacted.

Among those not listed: Patric Hornqvist, Anthony Angello, Adam Johnson, Philip Varone, Sam Miletic, Samuel Poulin, Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Juuso Riikola. That’s eight names and there could conceivably be a goalie held out as well. Given that a lot of the younger players tend to bond together and go around, it’s no real surprise to see a ton of the AHL level players all involved here (and then also Hornqvist for whatever reason).