Edmonton Oilers defenceman Duncan Keith won’t hit the ice at training camp until next Friday.
Keith recently travelled to the United States.
“He’s in quarantine. He’ll be here next Friday,” said Oilers general manager Ken Holland. “To get vaccinated has been a personal decision. It’s been an easy decision for some. It’s been a difficult decision for some. It was a difficult decision for some.”
Holland said he’s happy that Keith will be a fully vaccinated member of the team this season.
The Oilers have one unvaccinated player. Holland revealed on Wednesday’s edition of Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer that the player is forward Josh Archibald.
“We’ve talked about Duncan Keith. I’ll lead this into Josh Archibald. Had a number of conversations over 10 days ago with Duncan while he was here over a few days,” said Holland.
“As time has gone on, the vast of majority of unvaccinated players in the summertime have made the decision, for whatever reason, to get vaccinated.”
Holland said he’s made it clear to Archibald that it will be impossible for him to participate in the entire season if he’s unvaccinated.
“I spent some time with him earlier this week, just kind of walking him through the calendar and all the things are going to effect the way he can do his business,” explained Holland, who estimates that Archibald will have to miss at least 30 games to avoid travel quarantines.
“It’s much more difficult being a Canadian team,” said Holland. “We have to go back-and-forth over the border multiple times throughout the course of a season.”
Goaltender Alex Stalock, who hasn’t played a game with the Oilers since being claimed off waivers from Minnesota on March 1, won’t be at training camp. Stalock had COVID-19 prior to the 56-game 2021 season. He also had myocarditis and saw a couple of cardiologists over the summer.
“Through these additional tests, he found out that maybe he has some kind of a heart condition. He’s seen a couple of cardiologists. He’s looking to get additional opinions. I would say to you based upon where we’re at today, I don’t anticipate that he’ll play hockey this year,” explained Holland.
Defenceman Kris Russell will miss the start of training camp with a minor issue.
The players had medicals and physicals on Wednesday. The first on-ice sessions are on Thursday.
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