SAN JOSE – The Sharks’ top minor league daughter had postponed a second game as the number of Barracuda players in the AHL’s COVID-19 protocol rose from six to twelve in the past two days.
The AHL announced on Tuesday that the Barracuda’s planned game against the Stockton Heat has been postponed on Wednesday and that a catch-up date has yet to be set. The Barracuda announced on Sunday that their December 27 game against Bakersfield had also been postponed due to COVID concerns.
Strikers Sasha Chmelevski, Joe Garreffa, Scott Reedy, Krystof Hrabik and defenders Mark Alt and Patrick Holway joined the AHL protocol on Monday. They joined forwards Dillion Hamaliuk, Evander Kane and Jasper Weatherby, defenders Nick Cicek and Ryan Merkley, and goalkeeper Alexei Melnichuk on the list of unavailable players.
The Barracuda currently has just over 10 players who are not on the COVID log, including strikers John Leonard, Adam Raska and Joachim Blichfeld and defenders Jaycob Megna and Artemi Kniazev.
With so many Barracuda players unavailable and the chances that some players will join the Sharks’ taxi squad next week, it is unclear when the Barracuda will resume play. A press release from Barracuda said the status of the team’s scheduled games with Stockton on Friday and Sunday will be announced in the coming days.
The timing of the Barracuda eruption, if it continues to increase, could prove problematic for the Sharks, who begin a four-game road trip next week against the Eastern Conference teams.
All NHL teams are allowed to have a taxi squad of up to six players starting this week. The Sharks, who have COVID and injury problems themselves, will receive Philadelphia on Thursday and then play in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo and Philadelphia from January 2-8.
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Also included in the COVID protocol are Barracuda assistant trainer Michael Chiasson and another Barracuda employee who is not named. All Sharks and Barracuda players and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
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