Canucks to return to play Sunday vs. Leafs after COVID-19 outbreak

Dan Murphy and Iain MacIntyre discuss the Vancouver Canucks getting their restart pushed back and how J.T. Miller's comments and the P1 variant affected that.

The Vancouver Canucks will return to game action on Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL announced Friday, pushing Saturday’s matchup between the two teams back one day.

The schedule change is one of 15 in the all-Canadian North Division announced by the league.

The Canucks, whose season was derailed by a COVID-19 outbreak that saw at least 21 players and four members of the coaching staff test positive for the virus, haven’t played since March 24.

Vancouver’s return will be part of a special Sunday edition of Hockey Night in Canada, which will air at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet.

The Canucks were originally scheduled to resume their season on Friday against the Edmonton Oilers, but the game was postponed after concerns were raised by Canucks players about how quickly they were being asked to play after recovering from the novel coronavirus.

Canucks forward J.T. Miller was among the most publicly outspoken, expressing concern about the team’s quick return to the ice Wednesday, saying it would be “very challenging and not very safe” to play as scheduled on Friday because they had not had enough time to recover and get back in shape.

The Canucks’ return was one of several scheduling changes the league confirmed Friday, which will result in the final date for regular-season games in the North Division being May 19.

Full details of Friday’s scheduling changes

April 17 at 7 p.m. ET, Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet: Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets, originally scheduled for April 17 at 10 p.m. ET

April 18 at 7 p.m. ET, Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks, originally scheduled for April 17

April 20 at 7 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Sportsnet: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks, originally scheduled for April 19 (Note: As a result of this change, the game between the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays will move to being on Sportsnet ONE)

April 22 at 7 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on Sportsnet: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Winnipeg Jets, originally scheduled for April 21

May 3 at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on Sportsnet: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks, originally scheduled for April 16

May 4 at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on Sportsnet: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks, originally scheduled for May 6

May 6 at 7 p.m. MT/9 p.m. ET n Sportsnet: Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers

May 12 at 5 p.m. ET/3 p.m. MT on Sportsnet: Edmonton vs. Montreal, originally scheduled for May 11

May 12 at 8 p.m. ET on Sportsnet: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators, originally scheduled for May 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET

May 13 at 7 p.m. MT/9 p.m. ET on Sportsnet: Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames, originally scheduled for May 3

May 14 at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Winnipeg Jets, originally scheduled for April 23

May 15 at a time to be determined on Sportsnet: Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers, originally scheduled for May 13

May 16 at a time to be determined on Sportsnet: Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames, originally scheduled for April 21

May 18 at a time to be determined on Sportsnet: Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks, originally scheduled for May 15

May 19 at a time to be determined on Sportsnet: Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames, originally scheduled for May 16

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