Auston Matthews has tested positive for Covid-19 as two National Hockey League sources reported to the Toronto Sun. Matthews was in Arizona and remains there as he quarantines himself in his home in Scottsdale. He is hoping to be healthy and able to travel to Toronto to take part in the Maple Leafs’ training camp that will commence on July 10th.
Leafs goalie Fredrick Anderson was spending time with Matthews in Arizona during the NHL’s current break from play. Anderson tested negative and it should be noted that he is not in Arizona any longer.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have not made any comment on the Auston Matthews situation and it is uncertain when they will make a statement of any kind. As for trying to get a statement from Matthews or his agent the Toronto Sun had this to say:
Matthews was not available for comment Friday and his agent, Judd Moldaver, did not return messages left by the Sun. Andersen was not available for comment but a source close to the goaltender confirmed he had not tested positive.
Matthews is in the 1st year of a 5-year contract with the Maple Leafs that is worth $58 million. Arizona as a whole has experienced recent spikes in positive cases of Covid-19 as shown below:
Auston Matthews is not the only major athlete that has contracted the virus. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott also tested positive. The Tampa Bay Lightning had to close their facilities due to multiple players and staff members contracting the virus. The Toronto Sun also stated the following on other players testing positive:
According to sources, a numbers of unidentified Arizona Coyotes players, who were training alongside Matthews, also tested positive recently. Players on other NHL teams have tested positive over the past few months. None have been identified publicly.
The NHL’s return to play plans will need to involve frequent, almost rapid, testing of all players, coaches and everyone else that will be within a bubble. Camps will not begin before July 10th. The recent news of Matthews and other players testing positive brings the possibility of the Stanley Cup Playoffs being pushed back further, or at the players not being allowed to enter the hub cities or play. We are all hoping for the best.