Blackhawks put 2 more players in NHL’s COVID-19 protocol

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Riley Stillman and forward Jujhar Khaira joined Patrick Kane in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Sunday.

The winless Blackhawks also said assistant Marc Crawford will not coach against the Detroit Red Wings because of the protocol.

The Blackhawks announced Sunday morning that forward Ryan Carpenter and defenseman Erik Gustafsson had been removed from COVID-19 protocol. But there was no word on Kane.

Carpenter, Gustafsson and Kane missed practice Saturday after entering the protocol.

Asked if Kane could play against the Red Wings, coach Jeremy Colliton responded: “With all these COVID guys, there’s so much going on. We’re just going to take it one day at a time, so we’ll see what we have tonight.”

Assistant coach Tomas Mitell also remains in the protocol. Former NHL forward Chris Kunitz, who replaced Mitell behind the bench for Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Vancouver, will be in the same spot for the matchup with the Red Wings.

The recent use of the COVID-19 list doesn’t necessarily mean any of the players or coaches tested positive. They could have been deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive. General manager Stan Bowman said during training camp that the team was 100% vaccinated.

The struggling Blackhawks are off to a 0-4-1 start. Kane leads the team with four assists and five points.

Defenseman Ian Mitchell was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League. He has one assist in one game with the Blackhawks this year.

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