What’s quickly become a challenging first season for the Kraken threw them another curveball Monday when the National Hockey League postponed the team’s second straight home game due to ongoing coronavirus concerns.

Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena will now be played at a later date, on the heels of Sunday’s contest versus the Toronto Maple Leafs also being postponed. As a precaution, the team — which canceled practice Monday after defenseman Adam Larsson tested positive — shut down things until after the NHL’s holiday break period ending Sunday.

Not long after, the NHL announced it will begin a leaguewide shutdown Wednesday amid a rise in positive COVID-19 test results among players, and with 10 ­— including the Kraken — of the league’s 32 teams’ schedules already paused and their facilities closed.

The league said it will open its annual holiday break two days earlier than scheduled and have it run through Saturday. The decision, reached in coordination with the NHL Players’ Association, means five additional games scheduled for Thursday will be postponed, bringing the total this season to 49.

The Kraken’s game Tuesday was one of several postponed by the NHL before the leaguewide order.

The Kraken already had defensemen Carson Soucy and Jamie Oleksiak in COVID-19 protocol, while forwards Riley Sheahan and Colin Blackwell had cardiac testing Monday after being released from protocol and would not have been available for the game as they’ve yet to skate.


“From a realistic standpoint, they haven’t skated in 10 or 11 days,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said. “And there’s always a risk of more tests tomorrow. Of more positives with people.”

The Kraken also likely will be without forward Brandon Tanev for an extended period after he went down with a lower body injury in Saturday’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers. An MRI on Tanev’s injury came back Monday, but he is seeking a second opinion on it before a course of action is determined.

“Suffice to say, he’ll be out indefinitely,” Francis said.

Kraken forward Yanni Gourde was also released from COVID protocol and did skate by himself Monday after the practice was canceled. It’s not known whether he would have been able to play against the Coyotes.

But lacking three of their veteran defensemen along with multiple forwards would have put the Kraken at a competitive disadvantage for the lone game remaining before the holiday break. NHL teams had to submit final rosters Sunday night ahead of a holiday-period freeze.

The NHL had looked at each situation on a case-by-case basis and there were instances where teams with four or more players in COVID protocol had been allowed to keep playing while others with fewer — such as the Kraken with three at present — had games called off.

The Kraken’s game Saturday against the Oilers was allowed to proceed even though Edmonton entered the day with four players and head coach Dave Tippett in protocol. A fifth Oilers player, Jesse Puljujarvi, tested positive before game time as did a fourth Kraken player in Oleksiak.


Soucy then tested positive right after the game, suggesting he likely played while unknowingly infected. Since that time, Larsson has now entered protocol for the Kraken as well while two more Oilers players — defensemen Darnell Nurse and William Lagesson — were also added to that team’s COVID list Monday.

Given the Tuesday postponement, the Kraken now won’t play any games for at least a week when they are scheduled to meet the Canucks in Vancouver. A prior game against the Flames in Calgary, scheduled for Thursday, had been postponed as of last week.

Tickets to the postponed games and any parking passes will still be honored for the rescheduled dates, but all preordered food and beverages will be canceled and must be reordered. Public transit passes issued with tickets to Tuesday’s game are no longer valid.