The Philadelphia Flyers’ COVID-19 list continues to grow as they announced on Monday that forwards Scott Laughton and Derick Brassard, along with starting goaltender Carter Hart, have been added into the league’s protocols.
The team’s COVID list has now grown to seven with forwards Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, and Morgan Frost, and injured defenseman Ryan Ellis already sidelined due to the virus.
It’s been a week-and-a-half since the Flyers have last played a game, which came on Dec. 18 in an overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators.
With over 100 players having tested positive, the NHL opted to begin its holiday break early while postponing as many as 64 games.
Now with the Flyers still slated to meet the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday in the Pacific Northwest, the team is down all four of their opening-night centers with Couturier, Brassard, Laughton, and the injured Nate Thompson sidelined.
Brassard, who is in his first season with the Flyers, has been productive over the 18 games he’s appeared in this season with 4 goals and 7 assists (11 points).
Laughton has provided some stability toward the bottom ranks of the Flyers’ forward lines with 9 points (6 G, 3 A) in 23 games this year.
But Hart provides the largest loss of the trio put on the COVID list Monday.
The 23-year-old has rebounded well from a nightmare season last year, going 7-8-4 in 19 games in 2021-22 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average.
While he’s shelved, veteran Martin Jones will man the pipes for Philadelphia. Once a Vezina Trophy candidate earlier in his career with the San Jose Sharks, the 31-year-old is trying to re-spark his career with the Flyers to show that he can still contribute at the NHL level.
His numbers have been eerily similar to the stat-line he’s posted over the previous down seasons, going 5-4-1 with a .907 save percentage and a 3.33 goals-against average.