GARRIOCH: Ottawa Senators closed for Christmas break due to COVID-19 concerns

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Ottawa Senators are home for the holidays.

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After the three home games scheduled for this week were postponed, senators confirmed Monday afternoon that they will not return to the ice before the end of the league-mandated vacation break on December 27.

The club said that “the team’s next practice date and time will be provided once it is determined.”

At this point, the senators are still scheduled to face the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena next Monday night at 7 p.m., but there is no guarantee that the game will take place with the rapid spread of COVID-19. throughout North America.

Senators officially added assistant coach Davis Payne who tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was placed on protocol. He was not on the bench Saturday because of the club’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and did not make the trip back to Ottawa with the team after the game.

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We’ve seen this movie before with the senators and since they were in Florida to start the three-game journey, there may be more positive cases. Management, coaches, staff and players head to the Canadian Tire Center every day for testing.

Ten teams have already been officially shut down during the holidays.

The senators were supposed to face the Boston Bruins at home on Sunday, the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday and the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday as part of the pre-Christmas schedule, but all of those games are being rescheduled.

The senators now have five home games that the league must reschedule and it may not stop there, either. Ottawa is the 10th team on hiatus due to COVID-19.

As it stands now, games against the Bruins on December 29 along with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. on New Years Eve remain on the schedule, but those games may well need to be changed as well.

Later …

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Twitter: @sungarrioch

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