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San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said Sunday that some of the team’s players that had been competing in Europe in recent months tested positive for the coronavirus.
Wilson added, though, that no Sharks player who had been training in San Jose tested positive for COVID-19.
“We’ve had some players that were playing over in Europe that did (test positive), yes,” Wilson said. “But since players have been coming into our protocol and our guidelines, no, we haven’t had anybody that’s come into San Jose or that’s been under our medical staff test positive.”
With the NHL on hiatus over the last few months after the Stanley Cup playoffs ended in late September, the Sharks loaned several players to European teams. Some were older players with NHL experience, others were prospects with European or Russian passports that needed playing time.
The long list of Sharks players or prospects overseas included forwards Marcus Sorensen, Lean Bergmann, Joel Kellman, Antti Suomela, Fredrik Handemark, Jonathan Dahlen and Ivan Chekhovich, defensemen Tony Sund and goalies Alexei Melnichuk and Josef Korenar, among others.
A Sharks spokesman said the team is not aware of anyone who is currently prevented from traveling to North America because of the virus.
In September, the NHL announced offseason training protocols for players in league cities. They included limiting the amount of players who could be in the weight room or on the ice at the same time, and extensive testing for players before and during their use of club facilities.
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As one of the seven teams that was not part of the NHL’s Return to Play earlier this year, the Sharks, who have not played since March 11, will open training camp Dec. 31 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The other 24 NHL teams will open Jan. 3. The Sharks were forced to look outside of Santa Clara County to hold camp because of the contact sports ban implemented by county health officials at the start of December.
The NHL and the NHL Players Association still have to finalize protocols for training camps, which could be completed in the next day or two.
While several Sharks players have been in training in San Jose for some time, Wilson said other players will be flying straight into the Phoenix area and will have to quarantine once they arrive. The Sharks will have 36 skaters at camp plus an unlimited amount of goalies.
“We’ve got players in San Jose, we’ve got players that are driving in,” Wilson said. “We’ve got a group of guys on planes right now that are flying over here, and we have a group of them that are coming directly in Arizona.”