Back in September, both hockey fans and players were thrilled when it was confirmed the NHL would be sending its players to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This was huge news after the league chose to sit out for the event in 2018.
One team this was especially exciting for was the Vegas Golden Knights, who have many players that are skilled enough to suit up for their respective countries at the Olympics. In fact, one player who has already been named to Team Canada is Alex Pietrangelo.
Pietrangelo was named to the preliminary roster back in October along with stars Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby. However, the 31-year-old Pietrangelo is now having second thoughts on whether or not he wants to attend the event due to potential quarantine rules if a player tests positive for COVID-19.
“I’ve got four kids that are under the age of three and a half. For me to be potentially locked up there for five weeks plus the Olympics, that’s a long time being away from my family,” Pietrangelo said. “I’m not going to make a decision until we get all the answers, because those are kind of hard to come by right now. So, we’re all kind of sitting and waiting.”
These comments came shortly after the International Olympic Committee confirmed over the weekend that any athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 must produce two negative tests 24 hours apart. If not, the quarantine period would last from three-to-five weeks, something that many NHL players have expressed concern about, including the Golden Knights’ own Robin Lehner.
This is all extremely unfortunate given how excited everyone was regarding the NHL’s participation in the Olympics, but at this point it seems more likely than not that the players will not be attending. The virus has spread rapidly around the league this past week, and has forced the Calgary Flames to postpone a number of games.
If, somehow, the players are still able to attend, the Golden Knights will have plenty of representatives. On top of Pietrangelo, players like Shea Theodore (CAN), Mark Stone (CAN), Max Pacioretty (USA), William Karlsson (SWE), and Evgenii Dadonov (RUS) are all likely to crack their countries’ rosters. For now, we will have to wait and see.
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