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Four more Bruins, one staffer enter COVID-19 protocols as NHL outbreak grows

Jeremy Swayman has entered COVID protocol.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Four more Bruins players were placed into COVID-19 protocols, bringing the total to seven this week as the NHL suffers its worst outbreak since the start of the 2021-22 season.

Forwards Anton Blidh and Trent Frederic, and goalie Jeremy Swayman entered protocols on Thursday morning.

On Thursday evening, right before the Bruins faced off against the Islanders in New York, the team also placed forward Oskar Steen on the list.

On Monday, Brad Marchand and Craig Smith entered, and on Wednesday, team captain Patrice Bergeron joined them.

In addition, an unnamed member of the staff also entered protocols Thursday.

With the number of coronavirus cases and game postponements climbing, the NHL is reintroducing enhanced COVID-19 protocols that include daily testing and restrictions in a bid to limit a growing outbreak among players and staff.


The enhanced protocols will be put into effect immediately and last through at least Jan. 7. The move came within hours of an ominous step: Ontario health officials unveiled rules that will reduce capacity at the home arenas of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators, as well as the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, to 50 percent starting Saturday.

Daily testing will also return for NHL players and coaches as part of the decision, which was reached after two days of meetings amid worsening conditions across the league.

The Flames have had 17 members in protocol and four games postponed. Four teams — Calgary, Carolina, Ottawa, and the New York Islanders — have had outbreaks force game postponements, a total of 10. But alongside that is a growing number of affected players, who under typical COVID-19 guidance would be tested at least every 72 hours if vaccinated.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.