Blues place goalie Binnington in COVID-19 protocol, call up local EBUG

Blues GM Doug Armstrong explains why they don’t have cap space to call up an AHL goalie to replace Jordan Binnington who's in COVID-19 protocol, but instead were forced to call up an EBUG, who says he’s on fire in his beer league. Courtesy: Blues.

The St. Louis Blues have placed Stanley Cup-winning goalie – and potential member of Team Canada's Olympic team – Jordan Binnington in COVID-19 protocol, forcing them to use an emergency backup against Tampa.

Team general manager Doug Armstrong announced the moves on Thursday.

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports that Binnington, 28, has tested positive for the virus, meaning that under the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, the goalie will be lost to the Blues for at least 10 days while in quarantine.

Binnington joins forward Tyler Bozak as Blues players in virus protocol. The Blues are also without injured forwards David Perron, James Neal and Klim Kostin.

Because the Blues can't fit Charlie Lindgren under the cap for immediate call-up, they will be forced to use a local emergency backup goalie for Thursday night's game in Tampa. Armstrong told the media that the backup, Kyle Konin, "had a morning skate today with his beer league guys and he said he was on fire and ready to go, so we're excited to have him in here, he's excited, and it's just one of those things we have to roll with."

Ville Husso was set to start against the Lightning, with Konin, a 23-year-old mask painter, backing up. Konin most recently played club hockey at Grand Valley State University. Husso is expected to get the lion's share of duties in net while Binnington is out. The 26-year-old Finn is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA and .936 save percentage this season.

Binnington helped backstop the Blues to their first Cup in franchise history, in 2019, and has been in the mix for a position on Team Canada if the NHL participates in the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Through 16 games this season, the feisty Binnington is 8-5-3, with a 2.80 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.

--with files from The Associated Press

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