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Four Canucks out with symptoms of mumps

Two defensemen, two forwards will not play Saturday against Sharks

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Five Vancouver Canucks have shown symptoms of the mumps and at least four will not play Saturday against the San Jose Sharks.

Defenseman Troy Stecher has a confirmed diagnosis, and centers Markus Granlund and Michael Chaput and defensemen Christopher Tanev and Nikita Tryamkin are ill.

Players with symptoms were immediately tested and would be quarantined for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative, the Canucks said. There was no timeline given for each player to return, but coach Willie Desjardins said after practice Friday that Tanev might be able to play Saturday at Rogers Arena (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN1, CSN-CA, NHL.TV).

"My understanding is those guys are showing symptoms, [and] when they are showing symptoms they have to be quarantined, and if it turns out once they are tested they are clear, they just have the flu or whatever, then they are good," Desjardins said. "Tanev has had it the longest, so I think he might be through that stage, but then it comes down to, 'How do you feel?', who knows how he is going to be feeling or where he is at."

The Canucks, who are coming off a five-day break and were carrying two extra defensemen, called up defenseman Evan McEneny and forward Alexander Grenier from Utica of the American Hockey League. McEneny has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 43 games with Utica and would make his NHL debut if Tanev can't play. Grenier has 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 51 games with Utica and played six games with the Canucks last season. With no healthy extra forwards, Desjardins said the Canucks may add more players after Utica played Friday.

"We'll wait until after game to figure out exactly who to call up," Desjardins said.

Dr. Reka Gustafson of Vancouver Coastal Health praised the Canucks for "erring on the side of caution" by testing and isolating anyone with symptoms. She said lab reports on remaining players would be processed over the weekend and didn't think there was a high risk of transmission within the locker room.

"At the moment, because the five players who are being investigated for mumps all presented within a few days of each other, so our best bet is these individuals all got exposed to somebody who was infectious with mumps all at the same time," Gustafson said. "So we don't think at this moment on the curve we are looking at transmission among the team, but rather a group of people exposed at the same time."

The Canucks (26-28-6) are eight points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. After Saturday, Vancouver plays Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.

"Everybody here seems to believe they are healthy and we're not going to take a risk. We need to be smart and minimize this," goalie Ryan Miller said. "We're hoping maybe the break helped us avoid the really contagious period."

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