Two more players have opted out of a return to play, setting the dominos in place for more players to follow. After Travis Hamonic informed the Calgary Flames of his decision not to return on Friday, both Mike Green of the Edmonton Oilers and Sven Baertschi of the Vancouver Canucks have done the same.
Green Is Out, Barely Saw Any Time as an Oiler
While you can respect the decision any player makes when it comes to their families and their safety, this is a bummer for Oilers fans who barely got to see the defenseman in Oilers silks.
“Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I’ve decided for deeply personal family health reasons, not to participate in the return to play,” Green said in a statement. “This has been a hard decision knowing I’m going to miss the opportunity to compete in the playoffs with a Stanley Cup contender. I wish the best of luck to the guys and I appreciate the Edmonton Oilers support.”
Acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline, he played in only a handful of games before going down to an injury that shortened his season. Now, without a contract for next season and electing not to return to the team, he may be done in an Oilers uniform, even though there was talk that the team is interested in bringing him back on a short-term, team-friendly deal.
Not getting to showcase what he has left in the tank won’t be great for future contract negotiations, but the Oilers are said to be very supportive of his decision and it wasn’t a given he’d be getting regular time in the playoffs anyway.
Baertschi Elects to Sit As Well
Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi joined the list of players who won’t be reporting to training camp for the resumption of the NHL season on Saturday as well.
“Sven informed us late yesterday that he has chosen to opt out of the NHL return to play program,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. “It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand.”
Roman Polak of the Dallas Stars has also excluded himself, but that was rumored to have been decided quite some time ago.
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