NHL watching flu spread

The National Hockey League is watching the progression of H1N1 cases among its players but at this point sees no need for special measures to help prevent spread of the illness.

The National Hockey League is watching the progression of H1N1 cases among its players but at this point sees no need for special measures to help prevent spread of the illness.

The Washington Capitals confirmed Wednesday that forward Quintin Laing is being treated for H1N1, making him at least the third NHL player to be diagnosed with it.

On Tuesday cases were confirmed for Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid and Colorado Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj.

New York Islanders forward Doug Weight returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing three games with H1N1.

“We have been regularly providing our clubs with updated information and recommendations as they become available,” the NHL said in a statement released to The Canadian Press.

“We have not mandated specific precautions or courses of action. The league is monitoring the progression of the flu, but have implemented no specific ’contingency plans’ at this point in time. However, we will be prepared to do so should it become necessary.”

The Capitals said no other players have shown symptoms of the swine flu and that Laing is being kept away from the rest of the team.

He sat out Washington’s 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night and will miss at least the next two games, too.

The Oilers took similar precautions with Smid, but the 23-year-old defenceman didn’t miss a game and was back on his skates after two days of rest.

The irony in the Oilers’ dressing room is a half-dozen of Smid’s teammates have been hit harder with a non-H1N1 variety of the flu, with Gilbert Brule missing three games so far, Mike Comrie two, and Ales Hemsky one.

“I guess I got lucky and it didn’t hit me that bad,” said Smid, who began feeling ill Oct. 20.

Lubomir Visnovsky, Smid’s defensive partner, didn’t play late in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to the Avalanche after taking ill and didn’t practise Wednesday.

He’ll become the third Oilers player tested for H1N1, along with Smid and Brule.

“I was kind of shocked,” Smid said of his test.

“Brule had way worse flu than me and he didn’t have it (H1N1) and I did.”

Budaj, meanwhile, didn’t accompany the Avalanche for the start of their four-game road trip, though he hopes to rejoin the team before it returns home.

Weight confirmed Wednesday that he was bedridden with the virus after being diagnosed eight days earlier. He was deemed to be no longer contagious after five days.

“I wasn’t scared at all. It was the flu as far as I’m concerned,” Weight said before the Islanders played the New York Rangers.

While the Oilers are taking the same precautions that have been laid out for the public by Alberta Health, the Vancouver Canucks aren’t changing their regular plan for dealing with seasonal flu.

“Nothing more than we’ve done in the past,” coach Alain Vigneault said when asked if additional preventive measures were being put in place this year.

“We’ll give our guys shots after we’ve done this big stretch here (nine games in 17 days). The shots are planned for mid-November.

“Obviously we’re trying to … on the plane, guys are using that (anti-bacterial) stuff for the hands a little bit more.”

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

Come play at Medicine River Wildlife Centre

Grand opening of new playground

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

TORONTO — Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off… Continue reading

In Franklin’s anthems, women heard an empowering message

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.… Continue reading

Happy birthday Boler: 100s of cute campers in Winnipeg for anniversary gathering

WINNIPEG — Angela Durand sits outside her camper which is decorated to… Continue reading

Merkel, Putin share a headache: Donald Trump

FRANKFURT — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will… Continue reading

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

TORONTO — The president of Tim Hortons says a plan to conquer… Continue reading

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump is suggesting Canada has deliberately been… Continue reading

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault while on the job

TORONTO — A Toronto newspaper photographer said he opted to file a… Continue reading

Annual inflation rate jumped to 3.0% in July, highest reading since 2011

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says higher gasoline prices helped push the country’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month