Oilers’ Green, Stars’ Polak join list of NHL no-shows
Edmonton’s Mike Green and Vancouver’s Sven Baertschi are opting out. Dallas defenseman Roman Polak is not currently reporting for now, and Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos is not reporting at full strength.
In the wake of a deal being struck to restart the NHL season, Aug. 1, Green and Baertschi on Saturday combined Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic among players opting not to take part in the expanded 24-team playoffs.
“Because of the doubts surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I have decided for profoundly personal family health reasons to not take part in the yield to play,” Green said in a statement published by the Oilers.
Polak is not about the Stars’ roster for the start of training camp Monday, along with a team spokesman said the 34-year old will not be attending this time.
Polak is a totally free agent who last month agreed to a deal in his native Czech Republic next season and told colleagues there he wasn’t planning on returning to the NHL if play resumed. Baertschi, who spent much of the season in the minors, is under contract through 2020-21.
The quad will not have Stamkos at 100percent for the opening of camp due to a lower-body harm, but they’re optimistic he’ll be ready when games get under way in early August. GM Julien BriseBois said Stamkos fully recovered from core muscle surgery in March but has been hurt during workouts.
“We don’t have a specific deadline for when he will be a full participant at camp, however, we expect he is going to be ready in time for matches,” BriseBois explained. “He’s here, he is skating, he has been getting therapy, he has been coming into Amalie (Arena) doing his dry land work. However he will not be a complete participant Day One of training camp”
While Stamkos has a greater prospect of being ready for Tampa Bay’s next game than he’d have after surgery when the playoffs had started at mid-April, the Flames will have to cope with no Hamonic if they open their series against Winnipeg on Aug. 1.
Hamonic became the first player to openly opt not to play in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hamonic’s daughter has been hospitalized with problems, and he and his wife also have a baby boy. Their health concerns, not the soon-to-be 30-year old’s impending free agency, led him to determine.
“I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and also helping my team win, but my family has and always will come first,” Hamonic said. “Being my small children’ dad daily is the most important task I have. I adore my group and this game. This is a decision that’s extremely difficult for me to make.”
The Minnesota Wild, who face the Canucks in the qualifying round, ruled out defenseman Greg Pateryn indefinitely with an upper-body injury. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Saturday that the league will take over illness and injury disclosure from groups as a method of protecting player privacy.
Get local news sent to your inbox!