The Vegas Golden Knights played Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues without any of their regular coaches after at least one of those coaches tested positive for COVID-19. The team will close its facilities on Wednesday as it figures out the next steps under the NHL’s virus protocols.
“It’s not a case where the entire staff tested positive,” general manager Kelly McCrimmon, who served as head coach alongside the team’s AHL coaching staff, said after Tuesday’s game. “Most didn’t, frankly. … We’re fortunate there’s been no positive tests for players.”
Before the Blues game, the Golden Knights released a statement saying the entire coaching staff was being isolated from the rest of the team “out of an abundance of caution.” The number of coaches who tested positive was not disclosed.
Golden Knights players said post-game that they only learned about the coaching change when they arrived at T-Mobile Arena for the game. Head coach Peter DeBoer spoke to the media earlier in the day and there was no indication at that time that things were not business as usual.
“It was news to us when we arrived,” said defenceman Alex Pietrangelo. “Crimmer’s coached before, we had the (coaches) from Henderson come up, they know what they’re doing, too. So we didn’t know what the plan was originally, but it worked out fine.”
The Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars have both had to postpone games this season due to COVID-19 cases among their player ranks. The Golden Knights next play Thursday, again at home against the Blues, and then travel to Arizona to play the San Jose Sharks, who have temporarily relocated due to local health restrictions in California.
“I don’t know (what the next steps are) at this point,” McCrimmon said. “These things, there’s a process that you follow and as more information is available you make decisions.”