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U.S. players take proactive steps to mumps outbreak

by Mike G. Morreale

BOSTON -- The mumps outbreak that has infected more than a dozen NHL players is not being taken lightly by the managerial team at USA Hockey during the four-day selection camp on the campus of Boston University this week.

USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson said that while he hasn't received any instruction from the International Ice Hockey Federation with regard to the virus that now has affected six NHL teams, he made it a point to tell all 30 players just prior to camp to remain vigilant about their hygiene.

"We talked to our players about that," Johannson said. "I didn't use the word [mumps] because I didn't want to jinx us, but I did talk to our players and emphasize the importance of hand washing and allowing air flow in the rooms.

"I do believe the IIHF will have some commentary on it at some point, but in all honesty it's the responsibility of the team members to take care of themselves."

Jack Eichel said every player is taking a proactive approach in attempt to maintain good health.

"Mr. Johannson wants everyone to stay healthy; it's a short tournament and you need all the players and coaches on a team to win a tournament like this, so he's been pretty good with little reminders of washing hands after meals," Eichel said. "There are 30 of us players here at camp so it could spread through a team pretty quickly. It's definitely important that we make a point to keep things sanitary."


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