Several more Vancouver Canucks players out on NHL's COVID-19 protocol

The number of Vancouver Canucks players dealing with COVID-19 has increased, the league confirmed in its daily protocol list Friday.

Seven players have tested positive or are considered close enough contacts for isolation to be mandatory.

The NHL's list of protocol-related absences for April 2 added Alex Edler, Braden Holtby, Quinn Hughes, Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel.

Adam Gaudette and Travis Hamonic were added to the list earlier this week, and one member of the team's staff is also isolating due to the novel coronavirus. An eighth player who has yet to be named has also tested positive, according to TSN.

In a message on Twitter Friday, team owner Francesco Aquilini shared a previous tweet from the NHL. 

"What a challenging season it's been," he wrote, thanking the team, the league and the NHL Players' Association for their efforts to "keep the train rolling."

Forward Gaudette was the first confirmed case, and was pulled from practice when his positive test result came in Tuesday.

A game against Calgary was postponed Wednesday and the NHL announced Travis Hamonic was also on protocol. The staff member has not been publicly identified.

After Hamonic was put on protocol measures, the league decided to bench Vancouver for the next several days.

The initial plan is the Canucks will not be back on the ice until Tuesday, when the team may be allowed to practice again. The NHL said so far that next Friday's game against the Flames will go ahead as scheduled. 

With the latest update, it's likely that timeline will change.

And the situation involving the Canucks is already impacting other teams. The NHL announced Friday a game between the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets has been moved from May 7 to April 5.

"The rescheduled date is a result of recently postponed games affecting the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets," the league wrote in a brief statement.

Under the NHL's guidelines, players and staff are required to be tested every day for the novel coronavirus, and must get a second test if the initial results are positive.

Anyone diagnosed must self-isolate for 10 days, and close contacts have to do the same for two weeks.

In some cases, as with Canucks J.T. Miller and Jordie Benn earlier this season, just the players sit out. But at other times, several games are postponed and the whole team takes a break.