The Minnesota Wild are dealing with what appear to be breakthrough COVID-19 infections affecting two players: forwards Mats Zuccarello and Rem Pitlick.
Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that they tested positive Wednesday. They will be tested again Thursday per NHL guidelines, though regardless of the result of Thursday's test they won't be allowed to play in the game Thursday night against the Seattle Kraken.
Zuccarello is Minnesota's leading scorer with 7 points through six games. And his absence means the Wild will have to adjust the top line, which did feature Zuccarello alongside Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov.
How long the players will be out will be determined by subsequent testing, which based on NHL protocol will happen 24 hours from the first test and again 24 hours after the second test, for a total of three tests.
Symptomatic players who are confirmed positive for COVID-19 must isolate for "at least 10 days" from the onset of symptoms. They also must go at least 24 hours without a fever, without the aid of fever-reducing medication before returning to team activities.
The Wild are already without three members of the coaching staff who tested positive for COVID-19. Those three coaches did not join the team for their three-game road trip, which wraps up Saturday at Colorado.
The Wild announced before the start of the season that 100% of the roster was fully vaccinated. Per NHL rules, fully vaccinated players are subject to COVID-19 testing at least every 72 hours.
To make up for Zuccarello and Pitlick, the Wild have recalled Conor Dewar, Kyle Rau and John Lizotte from AHL Iowa.