It’s a sign of the times for Ben Hutton and his peers.
The Prescott-area native was back in the Anaheim line-up when the Ducks played St. Louis on Friday night. Hutton’s name had appeared on the National Hockey League’s COVID protocol related absences list ahead of the Ducks’ game with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.
Hutton had played in Minnesota on Monday. The Anaheim practice on Tuesday was cancelled due to a Ducks player entering the league’s protocol, according to a report on anaheimducks.com. Hutton as well as teammates forward Danton Heinen, defenceman Jacob Larsson and goalie Anthony Stolarz then appeared on the NHL list.
Being added to the list, which means a player is unavailable to play, practice or travel with his club, does not necessarily mean that person has tested positive for the virus. There are several factors that could be involved. They include an initial positive test that has not been confirmed, and requiring quarantine as a high-risk close contact or because of travel. The team does not have to indicate the specific reason why a player is unavailable or the expected length of the absence.
Hutton and the other three Anaheim players were not on Thursday’s list. The only Duck listed was Alexander Volkov, who had just been traded to the club from Tampa Bay.
Hutton was a +1 in Anaheim’s 4-1 win against St. Louis on Friday. He also picked up a major for fighting with the Blues’ Jacob de la Rose, who had made contact earlier in the game with a Duck who left the game and did not return.
Hutton, 27, signed a one-year deal with Anaheim shortly after the season opened and spent a week in quarantine after arriving in Southern California. In 28 games with the Ducks, the South Grenville District High School Wall of Fame inductee has one goal and two assists and a plus/minus of -12.
Anaheim (10-19-6), which is in last place in the Honda West Division, is scheduled to play St. Louis again on Sunday.