Chara becomes seventh Islanders player on COVID protocol list

New York Islanders defenceman Zdeno Chara (33) checks New Jersey Devils right wing Alexander Holtz during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (Adam Hunger/AP Photo)

Veteran defenceman Zdeno Chara has become the seventh New York Islanders player to be added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello made the Chara announcement Tuesday.

Lamoriello said he had discussions with the NHL about the Islanders’ schedule on Monday and said as of now, the team is getting ready to play on Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

“There is no decision to my knowledge. We’re preparing to play unless we hear otherwise,” Lamoriello said.

Forwards Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Kieffer Bellows and Ross Johnston, and defencemen Adam Pelech and Andy Greene are also in protocol.

The NHL postponed three Ottawa Senators game last week after they had 10 players on the list. Those were the first NHL games postponed because of COVID this season.

“I have no knowledge of what the threshold is,” Lamoriello said. “I believe that’s in the hands of the doctors both in the National Hockey League and the Players’ Association and the infectious disease people. … I’ve asked the question but I don’t know if there is (an exact number that would cause a postponement).

The slumping Islanders, who have lost six in a row, also announced centre Brock Nelson will be out 2-4 weeks with a lower-body injury.

Nelson has a team-leading nine goals and two assists in 15 games this season.

Forward Anatoli Golyshev and defenceman Thomas Hickey were recalled from Bridgeport of the AHL on Tuesday.

“We’ll continue to do what we have control of. You can’t deal with things that are out of your hand,” Lamoriello said. “Certainly these are difficult times, but we will stay focused on the players we have, what our abilities are to replace players if necessary and just stay as positive as we possibly can.”

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