Vegas Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon spoke to the media via Zoom on Monday morning with information on the team as the Golden Knights continue to navigate the 2020-21 NHL season.
Vegas had three games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols after three coaches, one NHL roster player and one taxi squad player entered the league's virus protocols.
"We're pleased to say that those people [who tested positive] are all healthy and doing well," McCrimmon said. "We've now had four days of all negative tests, which is encouraging. Our expectation is to continue this week as scheduled with games against Los Angeles this weekend."
The Golden Knights, who were scheduled to face the San Jose Sharks on Monday and Wednesday at Gila River Arena in Arizona, are scheduled to return to the ice Wednesday at City National Arena for practice. The team will also skate Thursday in preparation for Friday's game against the Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena.
McCrimmon said he expects the team to come out of the COVID-19 protocols without issue as it resumes full operations Wednesday. He clarified the Golden Knights and NHL receive the results of the team's tests simultaneously and that team and league medical officials work in conjunction to evaluate those tests as they come in.
Since the start of the season, 14 games league-wide have been rescheduled after teams were impacted by the virus. Vegas' three games that were postponed have been rescheduled for later this season. Additionally, the Golden Knights' game scheduled for Feb. 26 at Anaheim has been moved to accommodate scheduling alterations.
Schedule updates are as follows:
Jan. 28 vs. St. Louis rescheduled to March 22 at 7 p.m. PT
Feb. 1 at San Jose rescheduled to Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. PT
Feb. 3 at San Jose rescheduled to Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. PT
Feb. 26 at Anaheim rescheduled to April 23 at 7 p.m. PT
"Until this year, it was unheard of that games would be rescheduled," McCrimmon said. "It just happens so rarely. As we've talked about from the outset, the ability to be adaptable, to not get hung up on some of these things and to take them as they come is going to be important."
McCrimmon also confirmed that defenseman Brayden McNabb has been placed on long-term injury reserve after sustaining a lower-body injury on Jan. 26 vs. St. Louis. He's expected to miss at least 10 games.
"I don't think there's any tremendous complexity to the injury, but it is one that's going to require some time," McCrimmon said.
When members of the Golden Knights coaching staff entered COVID-19 protocols were ruled out for Vegas' game on Jan. 26 against St. Louis, McCrimmon stepped behind the bench to coach the team with help from Manny Viveiros, Jamie Heward and Joel Ward from the club's AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Silver Knights staff stayed distanced from their team during their two exhibition contests against the San Jose Barracuda during the weekend. McCrimmon confirmed those coaches followed necessary protocols of physical distancing and have been cleared to rejoin the Silver Knights at practice Tuesday at Lifeguard Arena.
Pavel Dorofeyev, a 2019 third-round pick of the Golden Knights, was signed to an entry-level contract on Jan. 25 and assigned to the Henderson Silver Knights. McCrimmon said the team worked with Dorofeyev and his KHL team to allow the 20-year-old forward to come to North America to play professional hockey.
"We'll go through a process of immigration that's going to take some time, but I believe it's going a little bit better than expected," McCrimmon said. "It'll still take a period of time for that to be taken care of so he can get to Las Vegas and start his pro career in Henderson."