Red Wings place 5 in COVID protocol including coach Jeff Blashill

Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, head coach Jeff Blashill, assistant coach Alex Tanguay all in COVID protocol

Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, top center, gestures as he talks to his players during a timeout in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Detroit Red Wings announced Saturday three players and two coaches have been placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

Forwards Givani Smith and Carter Rowney, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay have all been placed in the protocol. That means they will miss Saturday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils at Little Caesars Arena.

Detroit is recalling goalie Calvin Pickard and forward Riley Barber from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. The team also said assistant coach Doug Houda will be joined by Griffins head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier for the game against the Devils.

Forwards Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen already had been in COVID protocol since Dec. 15. They missed Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes and it’s unknown when they could return to the lineup.

As far as the Devils go, they have several players in COVID-19 protocol, too, including Jesper Boqvist, Ryan Graves, Nico Hischier and Christian Jaros. It’s unclear if any of them will return for Saturday’s game in Detroit.

Meanwhile, Monday’s (Dec. 20) Red Wings game against the Colorado Avalanche has been postponed as the league has shutdown all Avalanche games at least through the holiday break on Dec. 26.


Red Wings schedule:

  • Saturday, Dec. 18 -- 8 p.m. vs. Devils -- BSD
  • Monday, Dec. 20 -- 7:30 p.m. vs Avalanche -- POSTPONED
  • Thursday, Dec. 23 -- 8:00 p.m. @ Wild -- BSD
  • Monday, Dec. 27 -- 7:00 p.m. @ Rangers -- BSD

View the full schedule here.


The NHL is grappling with an outbreak of COVID that has forced some teams, including the Avalanche, to be shut down for several games. Those games will be postponed.

As of Friday a total of 20 NHL games have now been postponed, the majority of which have come in recent days, and roughly 10% of the 700-plus players are currently in the league’s virus protocol, the AP reports.

More: NHL reintroducing enhanced COVID-19 restrictions


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.