There have been plenty of games postponed or cancelled due to athletes in COVID-19 protocols, and there have been numerous cases of games going ahead without particular ruled-out athletes, but it’s certainly more unusual to see coaching staffs partly or fully knocked out thanks to protocol issues. There have been some individual coaches missing games, and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors saw much of their coaching staff miss a game last month, but what happened to the NHL’s New York Rangers Wednesday feels new. The team’s entire coaching staff was ruled out of Wednesday night’s home game against the Philadelphia Flyers, including head coach David Quinn (seen above coaching against the Flyers on Feb. 18) with their AHL affiliate head coach Kris Knoblauch filling in as acting head coach:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 17, 2021
As Vincent Z. Mercogliano notes in the (Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ) Daily Record, this came after the Rangers got some good news on a couple of players:
Good news was quickly followed by shocking news for the New York Rangers on Wednesday afternoon.
Moments after the NHL released its COVID-19 list for players, with forward Pavel Buchnevich and defenseman Adam Fox being cleared after a short two-day stint in protocol, the team announced that head coach David Quinn and his staff will enter COVID protocol in accordance with the league’s “additional health and safety guidelines.”
…Forward Julien Gauthier and defenseman Tarmo Reunanen will come out of the lineup to make room for Buchnevich and Fox. Forward Phil Di Giuseppe is the only player for the Rangers who remains on the NHL’s COVID list.
We’ll see how the Rangers do with this ad hoc coaching staff.
[The Daily Record; photo from Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports]