Canucks benched at least until Tuesday due to NHL's COVID-19 protocol

The day after a last-minute cancellation of the Canucks-Flames game, the NHL has confirmed Vancouver will be benched at least until Tuesday.

The league posted a statement Thursday afternoon saying Canucks games have been postponed for the time being, with the goal of having the team back on the ice in a week.

If all goes according to plan, the team will face off against Calgary on April 8.

The NHL said the team has followed all recommended guidelines, and will continue to do so.

The cities were scheduled to play Wednesday, but the game was called off that evening due to the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.

Forward Adam Gaudette tested positive for the disease on Tuesday, and was pulled off the ice mid-practice when the results came in.

The NHL has since said one other player and a member of the Canucks' coaching team are also on its protocol list.

The other player has been identified as defenceman Travis Hamonic, though the league has not said whether he tested positive or was just considered a close contact of Gaudette. Team staff are not listed.

Players and staff are required to be tested every day for the novel coronavirus, and are subject to a second test any time they test positive.

If the second sample is also positive, the player or staff member is considered to have it and must follow the protocol outlined by the NHL.

Anyone diagnosed must self-isolate for 10 days, and their close contacts are required to isolate two weeks.

In some cases, just the players themselves miss games.

Earlier in the season, Vancouver forward J.T. Miller and defenceman Jordie Benn both had to sit out, but the team did not.

But the Montreal Canadiens had four games postponed last week when two of the Habs were put on the list.

On the same night as the Canucks-Flames game was cancelled, the Western Hockey League also announced the suspension of team activities for the Kelowna Rockets for a minimum of 14 days. The decision came after six more players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Another person in the team's cohort tested positive on Tuesday.

The Vancouver Giants also postponed their Wednesday night game against the Prince George Cougars out of "an abundance of caution" following the confirmation of COVID cases on the Rockets.