LAS VEGAS — As of seven hours before the game, the Seattle Kraken is still figuring out what the inaugural lineup will be.
Marcus Johansson was the only player who entered COVID-19 protocol on the ice for morning skate on Tuesday. That could change as the rest of the players in protocol continue to test in Seattle to see if they can get clearance in time for Tuesday’s game in Vegas.
After skate, head coach Dave Hakstol said it could take more time to figure out just who would be suiting up for the Kraken, though he hoped to have clarity for the players soon.
“I’m not going to make predictions (with COVID protocol),” said Hakstol. “We’re gonna have our lineup for today, it’s still a work in progress. We’re gonna continue that for the next few hours.”
Everyone else was on the ice for the first morning skate of the season, excluding Alex Barre-Boulet.
Either way, this is the kind of game the Kraken could come out strong on adrenaline alone as the first contest in program history.
“All we can do as players now, the guys who are here, is follow the protocols,” said defenseman Mark Giordano, who was named captain Monday. “The league has protocols for a reason. You follow them the best you can. It’s a reminder this virus is not over by a long shot.
“I don’t want to call it normal but this is part of our game now and being playing being allowed to play in the league, through this pandemic, you’re gonna have to deal with stuff like this from time to time. It seems like every team has gone through some form of it.”
- Alex Barre-Boulet, acquired off waivers from the Lightning on Monday, wasn’t on the ice for morning skate.
- Johansson was on the initial roster and skated after he had initially been in COVID protocol on Monday morning. None of the other players in protocol — Jamie Oleksiak, Joonas Donskoi, Jared McCann, and Calle Jarnkrok — were on the ice. Johansson said he never tested positive and was a close contact.
- Philipp Grubauer was the first goalie off the ice at skate, which indicates he is the likely starter in net.
About the Golden Knights
Last season: 40-14-2 (82 points), Finished 1st in NHL West Division (lost in Stanley Cup semifinals)
Players to watch: Mark Stone (F), Robin Lehner (G)
The Golden Knights had an optional morning skate but project to line up like this against the Kraken: