Just checking in. Is it still a personal matter? When one of the Vancouver Canucks top-two right-shot defenceman can’t play hockey because of Covid-19 protocols? Or is it just a temporary, hopefully, part of the process and a temporary, hopefully, detriment to the hockey club? A club sitting at five wins, six losses, and 2 loser points on the season, embarking on an intra-conference three-game roadie.
So here’s where we stand, and I refer back to our story on November 4th regarding a loose timetable.
Step one for defenceman Travis Hamonic was reporting to the Vancouver Canucks at the beginning of November and playing four games with the big club during their home stand. Check.
Step two. Based on our scenario of one-Covid-shot-needing-another, we reported that Hamonic would be missing this three-game NHL road trip as he waits out the protocol period either between shots (usually 21 days) or after his second one (usually 14 days). Check.
Step three. For the aforementioned reason, he’ll be in Abbotsford with the AHL Canucks tomorrow after being sent down. Check.
The “little” Canucks host the San Jose Barracuda on Friday night and again on Sunday afternoon, while Hamonic’s NHL teammates will have played in Denver on Thursday, and will be playing in Las Vegas on Saturday and Anaheim on Sunday afternoon.
Step four. The “big” Canucks will return home and play the first of three straight home games on Wednesday, November 17th. Hamonic will play against the Avalanche that night, against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday the 19th and again versus the Chicago Blackhawks the afternoon of Sunday the 21st. Soon to be check.
Then we reach step five. Or do we? Given that we’re not privy to the specific timing of his protocol situation, there remains a bit of a grey area.
One possibility involves the optimistic scenario Vancouver Hockey Now laid out last week, suggesting that Hamonic will be fully vaxxed, through the waiting period protocols, and ready to go on the next NHL Canucks road trip that departs on November 23rd. It’s a five-gamer.
Another possibility involves Hamonic not being through the protocols and having to miss that trip, or potentially join in it progress.
Then there’s the possibility he doesn’t make that trip at all because of unfulfilled protocols depending on the timing of his second shot.
Or, and let’s not really go there, when Hamonic said “I’m vaccinated” back on November 1st, he meant he was vaccinated like Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers was vaccinated. Fortunately, minutes after Hamonic spoke, regardless of the apparent confusion about what constitutes “vaccinated”, Canucks head coach Travis Green stated “He’ll be double-vaxxed soon, and we’ll be following the protocols.”
So we can’t add that all important fifth check mark just yet; still a bit of a mystery.
What doesn’t require a sleuth is knowing that the Canucks could consistently use a 31-year-old, 19-minute-a-night, top-four righty who’s only going to get better as time goes by. Especially considering that this season’s all-important playoff race for this particular hockey club is well under way.