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Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said captain Sidney Crosby will be unavailable for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers and has been added to the NHL COVID protocol list.
It’s unclear whether Crosby has tested positive for COVID-19 or whether his absence is due to a close contact or contact tracing issue.
“The other thing I would say is just because someone is on the COVID protocol list doesn’t necessarily mean that they have COVID,” Sullivan said. “There’s protocols put in place for a reason, and we will do our very best to adhere to them.”
The NHL states the COVID Related Absences List can be the result of a number of factors, including an initial positive test, 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.
The 33-year-old is currently tied for a team-leading seven goals and 18 points, and Sullivan calls him an influential player.
“He’s not an easy guy to replace by any stretch, but we have been through this experience in the past and found ways to have success,” he said. “It should provide opportunities for others to step up.”
The Penguins and Flyers will face off at PPG Paints Arena at 7:00 p.m.