Photo Credit: Bill Streicher – USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks were hit with a storm today when they revealed that five players were suffering from symptoms of the mumps. According to their press release, Troy Stecher (confirmed), Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Michael Chaput, and Markus Granlund have all come down with the virus.
Yesterday, Jim Benning made an appearance on TSN 1040 to discuss the outbreak and what happens next.
Two seasons ago, the mumps spread throughout the league and sidelined a number of players. As far as I can recall, no Canucks suffered this disease at the time.
Gathering information from the trusty internet, the mumps is a contagious infection caused by the mumps virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and the well-known swelling of tender glands. The symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after being exposed to the virus, then subside after roughly seven days. A five-day period of isolation is often recommended for those who have contracted the disease.
Jim Benning: “We have one confirmed case, that’s Troy Stecher. He’s done the blood work and it’s a confirmed test result that he has the mumps. We have four other guys that we’re waiting on the results for. Probably three of the four won’t be able to play tomorrow night.”
Believe #Canucks players had mumps booster shot during last NHL outbreak but only Tanev a member of team back then.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) February 24, 2017
Of the five players infected, only Chris Tanev was a part of the team-wide vaccination in 2014-15. It makes sense that Chaput (AHL), Stecher (NCAA), Tryamkin (KHL), and Granlund (CGY) were more susceptible because they might not have been vaccinated during that time.
Benning confirmed that defenseman Evan McEneny, as well as Alex Grenier, were recalled. The Canucks added to the list of recalls with Jordan Subban and Joseph LaBate.
Despite Troy Stecher being the only confirmed case, TSN 1040 mentioned that Tanev was the first player to report his symptoms. Given the fact that the virus takes several days before showing signs, it is likely that the exposure occurred during the Canucks’ 6-game, two-week road trip last week.
Benning: “I don’t know if it’s something the guys got when they were back east, or if it was when they got back [to Vancouver]. The first we heard of it was Wednesday. The last couple days, we’ve had more cases.”
As stated earlier, individuals who have come down with the mumps are often put in a quarantined state to prevent the spread. Benning confirmed that the infected players would go through a “five-day incubation process” as a precaution. Troy Stecher will be a part of that group, but those who will join him have yet to be confirmed. I cannot speculate on who those players will be, but if they’ve all shown symptoms of the mumps, it would not be far-fetched to believe that they all have the mumps.
Benning: “Ours doctors, they have all [the protocol]. They make sure – through screenings, vaccinations, and disinfecting the room – that they’re on top of all that. This is just one of those things that happens and nobody knows why.”
Should the worst possibility occur and more players show signs of the mumps, the Canucks will be in a pickle. One-quarter of the team is already out, and the prospect pool in Utica is not exactly the deepest. I’m no CBA expert, but the Canucks might be forced to make some roster moves in the worst case scenario.
Benning: “We’ve contacted the league and we’re waiting to hear back. We could go into LTI with some of our injured players to come up with space to keep bringing players off. At some point, if we ge a rash of ten guys come down with it, we’re going to need some sort of exemption from the league.”
Article 13.12m (ii) speaks about Emergency Recall. Since Canucks will have less than 18 healthy skaters, they can exercise this: pic.twitter.com/0za5oCsjAY
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) February 24, 2017
Lastly, Canucks have tonnes of cap space due to Dorsett on LTIR; and can retroactively place Gudbranson on LTIR to open more space
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) February 24, 2017
They do need to ensure they have a roster spot under the 23 man roster to exercise this emergency recall option.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) February 25, 2017
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, there might be a feeling of angst that this Canucks-concentrated mumps outbreak will impact how management approaches the day. For Benning, he doesn’t think it will have a bearing.