With right winger Travis Konecny added to the Flyers’ COVID-19 protocol list Sunday evening, the bulk of the team’s offense is out of commission.
But there was some positive news: Defenseman Travis Sanheim was removed from the list Sunday; he had been on it for six days. In addition, the team announced it would return to the ice and practice Monday in Voorhees.
It will be the Flyers’ first time on the ice in a week, and perhaps it’s a sign that the team feels it will soon have other players come off the COVID list.
The Flyers’ COVID list is composed of forwards Konecny (five goals in 12 games), Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Oskar Lindblom, Scott Laughton, and Morgan Frost, along with defenseman Justin Braun. Frost had already been sidelined because of a separated shoulder. Four of the sidelined forwards are among the Flyers’ top seven point producers.
Among the reasons the players could be on the COVID list: They tested positive, they came in contact with someone who has the virus, or they are showing symptoms.
The Flyers haven’t played since Feb. 7, when they got a hat trick from Laughton in a 7-4 win in Washington. Their next scheduled game -- Thursday against the visiting New York Rangers -- could be in jeopardy, along with their Feb. 21 outdoor matchup against Boston at a Lake Tahoe resort in Nevada. If the Flyers can’t play against Boston, the Rangers are among the teams that reportedly could take their place.
Despite their long layoff, the Flyers (8-3-2) have played 13 games, and only Boston (14 games) has played more in the eight-team East Division. New Jersey, which at one point had 19 players on the COVID list, has played just nine games, a league low.
Right winger Zayde Wisdom, who at 18 is the youngest Phantoms player in franchise history, scored his first two professional goals Sunday and assisted on center David Kase’s overtime winner in a wild 5-4 victory at Hershey.
Wisdom, a 5-foot-10 1/2, 195-pound power forward, was drafted in the fourth round last year and is playing in the AHL until the pandemic-delayed Ontario Hockey League starts. Normally, he wouldn’t be allowed to play in the AHL at his age.
Kase, 24, a fifth-round selection in 2015 who played in six games with the Flyers last season, also had three points for the Phantoms, who are off to a 2-0-1 start.
Despite the Flyers’ four postponements, James van Riemsdyk (18 points) headed into Sunday tied for fifth in points in the NHL. ... Kevin Hayes leads the Flyers with 32 shots, followed by van Riemsdyk (30) and Joel Farabee (28). No other Flyers forward has reached 20 shots in 13 games. ... Jay O’Brien, 21, selected by the Flyers in the first round (19th overall) of the 2018 draft, has 10 points in 10 games for Boston University. The 6-foot, 184-pound sophomore had his first collegiate hat trick Saturday to lead BU past Vermont, 5-1.