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Golden Knights cleared to practice, host Kings on Friday

Updated February 1, 2021 - 2:10 pm

The Golden Knights’ season is set to resume.

General manager Kelly McCrimmon confirmed Monday the team will return to activities after three coaches and two players were isolated last week in connection with the league’s COVID protocol.

The Knights are expected to practice Wednesday and Thursday at City National Arena and are on track to host the Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m. Friday at T-Mobile Arena.

“We’re pleased to say those people are all healthy and doing well,” McCrimmon said. “We have now had four days of all negative tests, which is encouraging.”

The NHL also announced that four Knights games have been rescheduled:

Monday’s game against San Jose will now take place at 1 p.m., Feb. 13, and the second game of that series will be played at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25. Both games are in San Jose, California.

To accommodate the brief trip to the Bay Area, the Knights’ matchup at Anaheim was moved to 7 p.m., April 23, from its originally scheduled Feb. 26 date.

Also, the game against the St. Louis Blues that was postponed Thursday is slated for 7 p.m., March 22, at T-Mobile Arena. The Knights will play five games in a nine-day stretch between March 19 and 27.

“The ability to be adaptable and not get hung up on some of these things and just to take it as it comes is going to be important,” McCrimmon said.

Three Knights coaches and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo were being isolated in accordance with COVID protocols, the league confirmed last week. McCrimmon said Monday a member of the taxi squad also is in the protocol, but declined to identify the player.

McCrimmon confirmed after Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss to St. Louis that one unidentified member of the coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The timeline for when Pietrangelo, the taxi squad player and coaches are able to return is not clear, according to McCrimmon. If they are confirmed positive and symptomatic during their isolation, the protocol states they can return after at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared or with two negative tests.

Pietrangelo first appeared on the NHL’s list of COVID-related absences on Thursday.

As for why the Knights’ games were postponed while other teams continued to play through COVID-related issues, McCrimmon noted the decision was up to the NHL.

One mitigating factor, he said, could have been that the Knights’ positive tests moved from the coaches pool to the players pool. When Thursday’s game against St. Louis was postponed, the league said it needed additional time to analyze test results and determine the extent of the outbreak.

“When these situations happen, you put yourself in their hands,” McCrimmon said. “They dictate what those next steps are going to look like. I think it’s important people understand that.”

Meanwhile, the Silver Knights took Monday off to ensure no positive tests popped up after their American Hockey League exhibition game was canceled after two periods Saturday.

The San Jose Barracuda confirmed Sunday one player tested positive for COVID-19 and the game was halted in accordance with AHL health and safety protocols.

McCrimmon said the majority of the Silver Knights’ staff will return to practice Tuesday after they were in NHL COVID protocol. The Silver Knights are set to open their season Saturday against Ontario after the AHL ratified a modified collective bargaining agreement for 2020-21 on Monday.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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