All members of the Ottawa Senators organization who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered fully, coach D.J. Smith told reporters in a video call on Wednesday.
Five players and one staff member, none of whom have been identified, tested positive for the coronavirus over the past month. Radio colour commentator Gord Wilson also tested positive. According to Smith, all recovered relatively quickly.
“The good thing is that everyone that had it didn’t have horrible symptoms, (like) what we’re seeing on TV and some of the people that have really struggled,” Smith said. “Some guys didn’t feel well, but being athletes, they all got through it, and they’re all on the other side of it now.”
The Senators had played three games – all in California – of a five-game road trip when the season was put on hold March 12. They last played at Los Angeles on March 11 and then returned home.
Smith said the team noticed surprisingly sparse crowds in public leading up to the March 7 game in San Jose, where recommendations had already been made to avoid large gatherings, but said things seemed normal before games at Anaheim on March 10 and at Los Angeles.
He added that the positive tests within the Senators’ organization helped the team grasp the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m really glad that everybody in our organization and on that plane is now doing well, but it’s certainly a scary time,” Smith said. “Yeah, it hit us, but at the same time, it probably saved a lot of us, because unless you see it up close that quickly, we probably got a little bit of a jump on this.”
The only other known COVID-19 cases among NHL players are three members of the Colorado Avalanche, who played at San Jose on March 8, using the visitors’ locker-room one day after the Senators.