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Red Wings’ Jeff Blashill: This is a time for optimism and appreciation
Jeff Blashill interview, Jan. 13, 2021.
Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press
Darren Helm’s absence from the Detroit Red Wings is COVID-19 related.
The NHL released a list Wednesday evening, less than an hour before the start of the 2021 season, of players who are unavailable to play or practice, in accordance with the League’s COVID protocols. The Wings open their season Thursday.
Helm has not practiced since the opening weekend of training camp. Coach Jeff Blashill has declined to say anything other than that Helm has been “unfit” to practice, but the NHL will, during the season, share the names of players who are unavailable due to pandemic protocols.
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Christian Djoos is also on the list, but that’s because he traveled to Detroit commercially after being claimed off waivers Jan. 10 and therefore is required to quarantine for 7-10 days.
Per the NHL, COVID protocol-related absences can be the result of a number of factors including, among others: an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed; mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals; required quarantine as a high-risk close contact; isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 protocol.
Neither the league nor teams are obligated to reveal the precise reason a player is unavailable or how long he might be out.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.