UPDATE: According to a report from The Athletic, Pastrnak is currently under quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, but his agent, J.P. Barry, stated that Pastrnak himself has not tested positive. There is still no definite timeline for Pastrnak's return to the ice.
For the second day in a row, the Bruins were without a couple of their key cogs up front on Friday, as both David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were both not present from Day 5 of Boston’s “Return To Play” camp at Warrior Ice Arena.
As we approach almost a week of full-squad workouts, both Pastrnak and Kase have only skated once at Warrior — with both skaters taking part in a small-group session on Wednesday.
As expected, the reasoning for Pastrnak and Kase’s absence on Friday was due to the league’s new “unfit to participate” protocol, with Bruce Cassidy unable to shed any light on his players’ status.
Given the amount of speculation that this new protocol can generate in terms of not dispelling any reasoning for a player’s absence, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that most fears in regards to “unfit to participate” players revolve around complications regarding COVID-19 or other quarantine protocol measures.
While Pastrnak and Kase were given access to Warrior Ice Arena on Wednesday (signifying a passing of required testing and safety measures), photos of the pair both out in the North End and at a local rink does raise a few eyebrows.
Now, granted, even if the NHL’s memo regarding Phase 3 protocols does encourage social distancing, there’s nothing totally preventing a player from being out and grabbing dinner, even if such a move is obviously riskier.
Now, skating elsewhere could actually lead to some ramifications, given that the same memo states that “Players who participate in Phase 3 are not permitted to work out or skate at any public facility or other location, and may not organize any Player skates or group skates outside of the training sessions organized by the Club.”
Speaking following Friday’s practice, Cassidy noted that he doesn’t believe either Pastrnak or Kase have been disciplined by the league, adding that the team itself isn’t holding them out due to any violations.