Canadiens pause activities through Thursday as preventive measure

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The Montreal Canadiens have paused all team activities through Thursday as a preventive measure.

The pause also includes Montreal’s American Hockey League affiliate in Laval.

The Canadiens’ next four home games through Jan. 10 were previously postponed because of attendance restrictions in certain Canadian cities. The Canadiens-Bruins game, which was scheduled to be played in Montreal on Jan. 12, will be played in Boston.

Montreal has 16 players in NHL COVID-19 protocol: forwards Brandon Baddock, Paul Byron, Laurent Dauphin, Jake Evans, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen and Tyler Toffoli; defensemen Louie Belpedio, Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Gianni Fairbrother, Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov and Chris Wideman; and goalies Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau.

“Given all the new positive cases arising daily, and for the health of our players and staff, we feel that pausing our activities is necessary at this time,” Canadiens executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton said. “This pause will give our players the time they need to recover so that we can continue the season”

The Canadiens played with 16 skaters — 11 forwards and five defensemen — in a 5-2 loss at the Florida Panthers on Saturday after Evans and Romanov were added to protocol prior to the game.

Montreal has had eight games postponed this season. It had four games postponed from Dec. 18-23 and paused team activities from Dec. 20-26.

The Canadiens have played three games since the holiday break, losing 5-4 in overtime at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, 4-0 at the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and at the Panthers on Saturday.

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