Duncan Keith added to COVID-19 protocol as Oilers’ sick and injured list hits 12

Duncan Keith was the latest member of the Edmonton Oilers to be placed in COVID-19 protocol Friday night, joining three other players and the head coach.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Devin Shore, Ryan McLeod and Dave Tippett were already away from the team, as the virus swept across the NHL.

A total of 11 games have been postponed by the NHL this season, including six this week.

The Oilers were still expected to play Saturday night in Seattle.

Forwards Cooper Marody and Seth Griffith were recalled from Bakersfield so the team could fill its roster.

Defenceman Markus Niemelainen was also placed on injured reserve, and blueliner Kris Russell was moved to long-term injured reserve.

Keith missed the start of training camp because he was not vaccinated for COVID-19.

He eventually joined the team in October, but said he felt pressured to get the jab that he didn’t really want.

“To have to basically take the vaccine to play hockey, for me was frustrating in a lot of ways,” Keith told reporters at the time. “But at the same time, I’m excited to be here.

“You definitely don’t expect a year where you’re in a position where you have to make a medical decision just to play hockey. I feel like that decision, it should be a choice.”

On Wednesday, the NHL introduced enhanced COVID-19 protocols, including daily testing and limitations on players leaving hotels on the road.

The new rules will last until at least Jan. 7, based on discussions between NHLPA and NHL on Wednesday.

Mike Smith, Dylan Holloway, Alex Stalock, Oscar Klefbom, Josh Archibald and Slater Koekkoek were also on the injured list.

With files from The Canadian Press

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