Bruins wingers David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were missing on Friday from the club’s return-to-play camp at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. For both, it was the fourth absence in five days.
Pastrnak’s agent, J.P. Barry, confirmed a report by The Athletic that Pastrnak is being quarantined “due to proximity of someone who tested positive” for the coronavirus. Barry said Pastrnak has tested negative.
It is not known whether Kase is under similar restrictions, or whether he has tested negative.
It is also not known how long they will be away from the team. The Bruins opened their summer training camp on Monday to begin preparing for a trip July 26 to Toronto, where they will join the other Eastern Conference teams as the NHL resumes play.
Both were deemed “unfit to participate” by the team on Thursday and Friday. They skated at Warrior on Wednesday and coach Bruce Cassidy said Pastrnak, who during the 2019-20 regular season tied for the NHL lead in goals with 48, “looks great.”
Several photos posted to social media in recent days, including one on Monday, show both forwards have been skating with some young, non-NHLers at a suburban rink. The Bruins opened their summer training camp on Monday to begin preparing for a trip July 26 to Toronto, where they will join the other Eastern Conference teams as the NHL resumes play.
Cassidy was asked by a Globe reporter about the pictures on social media and whether he was comfortable with the two players participating in the non-team-related workouts.
“Obviously if the pictures are out there, I assume they’re real,” Cassidy said. “I don’t know. I don’t believe [Pastrnak has] been disciplined by the league. As for it fitting into the protocol, I don’t have a good answer to that.
“If the league allows them to work out on their own, I’m OK with them trying to get their conditioning where it needs to be. What are the parameters of it? Are they near people that are at risk? Are they social distancing? Are they doing it the right way?
"If they're doing it the right way to prepare themselves, then I'm OK with it. If they're not, and they put themselves in harm's way, then obviously that's not a good thing."
A person who knows three of the young players shown in the pictures posted on social media said the most recent workout at the suburban rink was Monday morning — the same morning the Bruins hit the ice at Warrior for their first workout in Phase 3.
Pastrnak and Kase both were absent from the team skate in Brighton on Monday morning, and Cassidy did not explain why. They did not participate in Tuesday’s session, either.
On Wednesday, the first day Pastrnak and Kase were on the ice with teammates and coaches, Cassidy said both players would join their teammates for Thursday’s workout. They were not seen that day and also did not participate on Friday. It is unknown whether they will be at Saturday’s practice.
In their Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (competition) return-to-play protocols, the NHL and NHLPA agreed that teams would disclose nothing more about player issues other than they are “unfit to play” or “unable to practice.”
In theory, those designations could apply to anything, from the usual bumps, bruises, strains, and sprains, to something coronavirus-related, such as a positive COVID-19 test or a player kept in isolation because he is believed to have come in close contact with a symptomatic person.
A Globe search found four pictures from the rink, all showing Pastrnak and Kase, posted on Instagram accounts July 10, 12, and 13.
A shot posted on the 13th, which depicted a college-bound player standing between Kase and Pastrnak, was posted on the player’s Instagram account as recently as Thursday evening. A search on Friday morning, before Cassidy was asked about the pictures, revealed the picture had been removed.
Asked if the pictures factored into the decision to hold the two wingers out of practice, Cassidy said that wasn’t the case.
“This isn’t personal discipline against those two guys,” he said. “If anything when you’re out that long you have to go almost the other way to get them up to speed.
“That’s not the case. We’re not disciplining anybody right now on our team for individual actions. This is all, again, unfit to participate right now. I would love to tell you something different or better, but that’s what they’re listed as right now.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league would not comment on the situation. A Bruins spokesperson, responding via email to Globe requests for team president Cam Neely and general manager Don Sweeney to comment, said “respectfully, we do not have comment.”