No new Islanders wound up in COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday, though seven players remained unavailable to face the Rangers at UBS Arena because of positive tests and defenseman Noah Dobson was listed as day to day with a lower-body injury.
Still, given how COVID-19 has depleted the roster in a little more than a week, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello considered no news on that front to be good news.
“Absolutely,” Lamoriello said. “I think the health and well-being of our players is at the forefront. We’ll just take it day by day.”
Otto Koivula became the latest player to be recalled from AHL Bridgeport while defenseman Ryan Pulock (lower body) was moved from injured reserve to long-term injured reserve to clear roster room for all the recent call-ups.
Those also include forwards Anatolii Golyshev, Andy Andreoff, Richard Panik and defensemen Thomas Hickey, Robin Salo, Grant Hutton and Paul LaDue.
Lamoriello insisted there were no further discussions with the NHL on Wednesday about postponing the game against the Rangers. Lamoriello said on Tuesday there had been dialog with the league on Monday on the subject.
“I had no discussions with the league today nor did they with me,” Lamoriello said. “These decisions are out of our hands. The league certainly knows the situation we’re in medically.”
Captain Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Kieffer Bellows Ross Johnston and defensemen Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara — the latest to test positive on Tuesday — all remain in COVID-19 protocol. In addition to Pulock, Brock Nelson (lower body) is on injured reserve.
Lamoriello said none of the players in COVID-19 protocol have tested negative yet. Bailey remains quarantined in Florida, where he was the first Islander to test positive on Nov. 16. He can return to New York by this weekend.