Several members of the Buffalo Sabres tested positive for COVID-19 prior to tonight’s road game against the Arizona Coyotes, coach Don Granato said.
“Every one of those is retesting, and the only one that we’ve gotten back has returned negative,” Granato said on a Zoom call this afternoon following the Sabres’ pregame skate. “So obviously a pretty active situation. I can tell you all of these test that have gone through, everybody feels normal.”
Sabres defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju and wingers Rasmus Asplund and Victor Olofsson were absent from the skate at Gila River Arena, according The Buffalo News and The Athletic. Assistant coaches Matt Ellis and Marty Wilford left the ice during the skate, according to the outlets.
Granato said a player who retested was negative.
Update: The Sabres announced tonight that Asplund, Dahlin, Olofsson, Ellis and four members of the team’s traveling party have have been placed in COVID-19 protocol.
Meanwhile, goalie Craig Anderson and winger Kyle Okposo have been activated from injured reserve. Goalie Dustin Tokarski has been activated from non-roster status and defenseman Casey Fitzgerald has been recalled from the taxi squad.
The Sabres, who have an extra forward and two extra defensemen as they complete their four-game road trip, have no way to bring in additional players.
Granato said general manager Kevyn Adams will remain in contact with the NHL today to see what could happen with tonight’s game.
“We’re in a wait-and-see situation,” Granato said.
On Friday, Sabres goalie Michael Houser, who likely would’ve started tonight’s game, entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Granato said goalie Craig Anderson, who hasn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury Nov. 2, will start tonight.
“If we can get to that game, it will be Craig,” Granato said.
He added: “He’s been hungry and, yeah, he knows what he’s doing with it. But it’s been a long road for him.”
Dustin Tokarski, out since entering protocol Dec. 2, will likely back him up.
The Sabres also this afternoon waived goalie Aaron Dell, who’s scheduled to start serving his three-game suspension tonight.