Detroit Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin removed from game for COVID-19 protocol

Detroit Free Press

DALLAS — The Detroit Red Wings are facing uncertainty after losing captain Dylan Larkin to COVID-19 protocol.

They packed up and headed to Vegas without Larkin after Tuesday’s 5-2 loss against the Stars, which Larkin did not finish because he was removed after the second period.

Coach Jeff Blashill had few answers in the immediate aftermath at American Airlines Center, but said there would be a “sequence of things. Right now he’s out for COVID protocol.”

Blashill said Larkin was to stay in Dallas. The Wings play at Vegas on Thursday and at Arizona on Saturday before returning to Detroit. Their next home game is Nov. 24.

Blashill and general manager Steve Yzerman will need to discuss how to proceed.

“We have to figure out exactly where everything stands, talk to Steve, and figure out what we are going to do for Thursday,” Blashill said.

Blashill said Larkin was tested Tuesday. Players who are vaccinated are subject to PCR testing at least every 72 hours, while unvaccinated players, of which Tyler Bertuzzi is the lone NHL player, are tested daily.

Per NHL protocols, “A person whose COVID-19 positive status has been confirmed shall remain in isolation, shall not exercise, and shall not participate in any training activity or have any contact (other than remotely) with any other personnel for the duration of their isolation.”

Larkin is on a three-game scoring streak with four goals. He converted on a power play in the second period of Tuesday’s game to edge the Wings within a goal.

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“He’s our leader,” Danny DeKeyser said. “He drives the bus for this team. He had that big goal to get us back into it, and then not having him in the third obviously was a big loss.”

There have been multiple cases of NHL players being pulled for COVID protocol. The Ottawa Senators have been hard hit, forced to postpone three games after 10 players and  assistant coach Jack Capuano tested positive for the virus over the past 10 days.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. 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 AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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