NHL Buzz: Holtby, Gurianov in COVID-19 protocol for Stars


Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2021-22 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.


Dallas Stars

Goalie Braden Holtby and forward Denis Gurianov were placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday.

Holtby is 6-8-1 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 17 games (16 starts) this season.

Gurianov has scored 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 31 games.

The Stars host the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday.


New York Islanders

Defenseman Ryan Pulock and coach Barry Trotz were placed in COVID-19 protocol.

Trotz, who returned to practice Saturday following the death of his mother, missed the Islanders’ 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 1. That was the last game New York played after having games postponed because of COVID-19 related issues.

Pulock has two assists in 12 games this season. He has not played since Nov. 15 because of a lower-body injury but has been skating.

New York is next scheduled to play the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.


Philadelphia Flyers

Claude Giroux is expected to play for the Flyers at the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, SNE, SNO, TVAS, NHL LIVE).

The forward missed three games in NHL COVID-19 protocol. He exited protocol and practiced Tuesday.

“‘G’ being out there with us today, I would expect G to be ready to go,” coach Mike Yeo said.

Giroux leads the Flyers with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 32 games.

The Flyers had their game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday postponed due to COVID-19 issues affecting Philadelphia, but the team was able to practice, and will practice again Wednesday before traveling to Boston.

“I feel good right now,” Giroux said. “Conditioning, maybe one more practice wouldn’t hurt. When you don’t do anything for five, six days, it’s kind of tough to get back into practice. But today was a good practice and it’s good that we have another one tomorrow.”

Yeo said he was hopeful defenseman Ivan Provorov or forward Travis Konecny, possibly both, also could exit protocol and play Thursday.

Provorov has missed three games, Konecny has missed two.

“I know that they’re getting near that timeline,” Yeo said. “So we’ll see, but as of right now, just keep working with the group that we have.”

The Flyers placed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen in COVID-19 protocol. Defenseman Justin Braun entered protocol Monday.

Forward Patrick Brown is expected to be out four weeks with a sprained MCL in his knee, sustained when he collided with San Jose Sharks forward Matt Nieto in the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss Saturday. — Adam Kimelman

Carolina Hurricanes

Jaccob Slavin was placed in COVID-19 protocol.

The defenseman has scored 18 points (one goal, 17 assists) in 33 games this season and leads Carolina in average ice time per game (23:57).

The Hurricanes host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

St. Louis Blues

Brayden Schenn and Colton Parayko entered COVID-19 protocol Monday and will miss at least one game, against the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.

Schenn has played three games after missing five with an upper-body injury. The forward has scored 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 22 games.

Parayko has scored 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 36 games. The defenseman leads the Blues with an average of 24:10 in ice time per game.

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defensemen Scott Perunovich and Jake Walman, each placed in protocol Thursday, could return to the lineup against the Kraken. Tarasenko, who has missed two games, is second on the Blues with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 34 games. — Lou Korac


Columbus Blue Jackets

Gregory Hofmann was suspended by the Blue Jackets on Monday.

The 29-year-old forward last played in a 4-3 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 14. 

“Gregory was given permission by the club to step away for personal reasons and informed us today that because of those reasons he has decided not to return,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. “Obviously, we are disappointed, but we have no other recourse than to suspend him.”

Hofmann made his NHL debut Oct. 14, playing 16:19 in an 8-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes. He scored his first NHL goal during a 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Oct. 15 and has scored seven points (two goals, five assists) in 24 games. He was acquired in at trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 13, 2021, and signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jackets on June 14, 2021, after playing 11 seasons in the National League, the top professional league in Switzerland.

The Blue Jackets (16-16-1) are scheduled to play the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; BSOH, NBCSCH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). Their game at the Montreal Canadiens on Monday was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.

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