Fred Sasakamoose is presumed positive for COVID-19 and is being admitted to hospital for treatment, according to a Facebook statement from his family.
Sasakamoose, who is from Big River First Nation and lives on Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation, was the first Indigenous hockey player from Saskatchewan to make it to the NHL.
"The 86 year old has had symptoms for a couple days, was admitted today at a local Hospital and is presumed positive and is now waiting for test results," according to a Facebook post.
"We are asking people, the hockey community and fans to think about Fred at this time. Chief Thunderstick needs your prayers so he can recover quickly."
Sasakamoose’s son Neil said in a video on Facebook that for the last six to eight months “we’ve been working, trying to comply and eradicate the virus so people don’t get sick from it, especially older people and people that have conditions.
“It plays with your mind. But the truth is that it’s real. We have to be careful, we have to follow the orders of what the physicians tell us, what the professionals tell us. We have to follow them. No one wants to lose a family member to this.
“There are a thousand ways to pass away but when it’s preventable - and this is preventable - we should do everything we can to prevent anyone from getting this.”