VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Vancouver Canucks said 25 players and coaches have tested positive in a COVID-19 outbreak involving a variant of the virus.

The team said Wednesday that 21 players, including three from the taxi squad, and four members of the coaching staff have tested positive, and one other player is considered a close contact.

“This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes,” the team said in a statement.

All players and staff are in quarantine, and 19 of the 22 players on Vancouver’s active roster were listed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list Wednesday.

The Canucks say the team has confirmed that a variant is involved in the outbreak, and full genome sequencing is being conducted by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control to determine which specific variant.

They said an ongoing investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health and contract tracing found that the outbreak was sparked by a single unidentified individual picking up the infection in a “community setting, which has since been identified by public health as a public exposure location.”

Asked whether the NHL is concerned that a player or staff member broke the league’s protocol and sparked the outbreak, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly declined to comment.

“We are aware of the facts and are comfortable that the situation was handled reasonably and responsibly,” he said in an email to The Canadian Press.

The Canucks’ outbreak began March 30 when forward Adam Gaudette tested positive. The NHL postponed Vancouver’s game against the Calgary Flames the following night when defenseman Travis Hamonic and a member of the coaching staff were added to the NHL’s COVID protocol list. A total of six Canucks games have now been postponed.

BLUE JACKETS: Center Boone Jenner had surgery for a broken finger and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Jenner was hit in the hand with a hard shot by teammate Patrik Laine in the third period of Tuesday night’s win over Tampa Bay. He’ll be sidelined about six weeks, the team said.

The 27-year-old veteran has eight goals and nine assists while playing in all 41 games this season.

ISLANDERS-DEVILS: The New York Islanders acquired veteran forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils in a trading deadline move to improve their Stanley Cup chances.

The Devils will get the Islanders’ first-round pick this year, a conditional fourth-round choice next year and forwards A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst. The trade deadline is Monday.

New Jersey will pay half of Zajac and Palmieri’s salaries.

Palmieri, who has not played since last weekend and will be a free agent after this season, gives the Islanders a proven goal scorer to help with Anders Lee out for the season with a knee injury. The 30-year-old Long Island native has scored at least 24 goals in each of his first five seasons with the Devils. He got off to a slow start this year and has eight in 34 games.

Zajac, who has spent his whole career with the Devils, recently playing in his 1,000th regular-season game. The 35-year-old can do everything, from winning faceoff, scoring and killing penalties.

Jobst was the Islanders’ first round pick in 2021 NHL.

Greer is currently playing with Bridgeport of the AHL, where he has one goal and one assist in 10 games.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

OILERS 4, SENATORS 2: Connor McDavid set up three goals by Leon Draisaitl and scored a spectacular winner with 6:06 to play as visiting Edmonton beat Ottawa.

Draisaitl and McDavid, the NHL’s top two scorers, were reunited on the same line for the game and each finished with four points as Edmonton won for the sixth time in nine games (6-1-2) and improved to 8-0 against Ottawa. Mikko Koskinen made 28 saves, including two in close late with the Senators’ goal empty.

Josh Norris and Connor Brown scored for Ottawa, which has lost 4 of 5. Marcus Hogberg made 31 saves in his first start since Feb. 18.

MAPLE LEAFS 3, CANADIENS 2:  Jack Campbell made 32 saves for his franchise-record 10th straight victory, Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 28th goal and Toronto won at home.

Campbell broke the record he shared with Felix Potvin (1993-94), Jacques Plante (1970-71) and John Ross Roach (1924-25).


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