season, but signed a one-year deal worth $900K in the offseason.
Lehtonen failed to report to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, forcing his team to place him on waivers. Despite his lack of appearances in recent years, Lehtonen remains one of the most productive players in the KHL. He led all defensemen in scoring last season with 49 points, and was selected to play in the 2020 KHL All-Star Game. In addition, he was named KHL Defenceman of the Month for three consecutive months from November to January. He also had three assists in six KHL playoff games before the season was cancelled.
Mikko Kane tested positive for COVID-19
On Dec. 21, the Sharks announced that Mikko Kane had tested positive for COVID-19. As per AHL health protocols, players who are infected with the virus must undergo a 10-day quarantine. However, Kane allegedly boarded a plane to Vancouver before his quarantine was complete. The team alleges that this breach of protocol posed a risk to the player’s health.
The Oilers have already missed a few players this season because of the COVID-19 protocol. Their three star forwards have all missed a practice due to the situation. In addition to Kane, Patrick Kane and Erik Gustafsson, Chicago is also missing Michael Grabner and Mike Smith due to injuries.
Mikko Lehtonen suspended
Lehtonen has had a rough year for the Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs. He began the year with the Leafs but was traded in March to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played in 26 games for the two franchises, and had no points or goals. He averaged 15.53 minutes per game and recorded 30 hits and 15 blocks. In addition, he wasn’t particularly good on offense, with a -3.6 relative Corsi. But the numbers aren’t very telling, and it would be unwise to make any firm conclusions.
Lehtonen had been suspended by the Blue Jackets for one game after failing to report to their AHL affiliate. While Lehtonen was in the NHL on a one-year deal, he failed to report to the team’s AHL affiliate in Cleveland and was put on waivers. His absence from the team’s camp made him eligible for waivers, which he was subsequently placed on Sunday. Lehtonen, 27, made his NHL debut last season for the Maple Leafs. He wThe NHL has made the news by reintroducing the COVID-19 protocol after players tested positive. It’s also making the news by placing two players on unconditional waivers: Mikko Lehtonen and Mikko Kane. Both players have positive tests this season. What does this mean for the NHL?
NHL COVID-19 protocol reintroduced
As a result of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the NHL Picks Today has introduced new guidelines for the prevention of the virus. These guidelines include daily testing and other steps to protect players. They will take effect immediately and run through Jan. 1 before being evaluated and adjusted if necessary. The new rules were a result of discussions between the NHLPA and the league. Three teams in the NHL are virtually shut down while others are playing catchup games. Currently, 70 players are undergoing the protocol.
The NHL COVID-19 protocol has already caused two postponed games and a cancellation of another three. The NHL has no plans to suspend the season, but it is encouraging players to get the vaccine. Currently, all but one current player is vaccinated. While the protocol is voluntary, the NHL does not want to risk further contamination.
Calgary Flames positive tests come at once
The Calgary Flames are facing a dilemma right now. They’re in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak, and there’s a chance that some of their players could be out for the rest of the season. The team’s head physician, Dr. Ian Auld, expects more positive cases to come in the coming days.
The positive tests come from a total of 19 players and staff members. The team is still waiting to get back into full playing shape, and four games have been postponed. The players who are out of the lineup include Elia Lindholm, Brad Richardson, Chris Tanev, and Adam Ruzicka.
As for the players who are out of the lineup for now, the Flames have added two more players to their protocol, along with a support staffer. Centre Dillon Dube and defenceman Oliver Kylington have both recently entered the COVID-19 protocol. Those players are currently out of the lineup until Dec. 18, and the next game is Dec. 21 against the Anaheim Ducks. If everyone is cleared by that time, the Flames will be back in action on Dec. 22.
Mikko Lehtonen placed on unconditional waivers
After failing to report on time for his first NHL assignment, Mikko Lehtonen has been placed on unconditional waivers. The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Lehtonen from the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 12th, 2018. He had played in only 17 games for the Blue Jackets lastas traded to Columbus on March 12 and signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jackets on July 30.