COVID: Flames-Blackhawks lone NHL game Monday postponed, Tuesday's Pistons-Bulls NBA matchup might be as well

A COVID outbreak has postponed the lone NHL game that was scheduled Monday (plus a few more) and may affect an NBA game on Tuesday.
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Rather unusually, there was just one NHL game scheduled for Monday but now the league will be completely dark because the Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks matchup has been postponed due to COVID issues on the Flames. Six Calgary players and one staff member have entered COVID protocol within the past 24 hours or so. The Chicago Bulls of the NBA also are having an outbreak and their home game Tuesday vs. the Detroit Pistons is in jeopardy.

According to the Flames Twitter feed, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, and a member of the training staff entered the NHL's COVID protocols. Their games Tuesday in Nashville and Thursday at home vs. Toronto also were postponed.

The team didn't even travel to Chicago because of concerns about re-entering Canada with its stricter COVID protocols at the border. If the Flames had left for the United States, anyone who tested positive would not have been able to come back to Canada without a lengthy quarantine.

It's just a coincidence that the other Chicago sports team might be affected by COVID as well as the Bulls placed All-Star Zach LaVine and Troy Brown Jr. in the NBA's health and safety protocols Sunday, meaning the team now has a whopping nine players in protocols and just nine eligible players on the roster to play on Tuesday against the Pistons, one above the league minimum needed. There have been no COVID-related postponements in the NBA this season.

DeMar DeRozan, Coby White, Matt Thomas, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr, Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson are also in COVID-19 protocols. DeRozan ranks sixth in the NBA in scoring at 26.4 points per game and LaVine seventh at 26.0 ppg. Update: Adrian Wojnarowski just tweeted that Bulls forward Alize Johnson has tested positive for COVID and entered league protocols. Thus, that means Chicago is down to eight players. 

Stanley Johnson had just signed a 10-day contract with the Bulls on Thursday after the team was granted a hardship exception to add another roster spot with so many players out. Nikola Vucevic missed seven games in COVID-19 protocols before returning to the team on Nov. 24.

The Bulls, who say that every player has been fully vaccinated, have asked the NBA to postpone at least Tuesday's game, but so far the league has said no. If it is played, it's simply smart gambling to back the Pistons with Chicago down so many guys, including its two best players. 

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