Co-NHL goals leader David Pastrnak might not be available when the Boston Bruins return to the ice on Aug. 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Bruins could also be without forward Ondrej Kase as the state of Massachusetts’ regulations for foreign players returning to the United States during the pandemic have prevented both players from rejoining the team. Both are native to the Czech Republic.
Pastrnak and Kase might return to the team next week, leaving them a short preparation window in advance of Boston’s restart to the NHL season in Toronto.
“Some other teams are dealing with this, obviously, but what the state regulations are compared to maybe some other states are a little different across the country,” team president Cam Neely said, according to NHL.com. “We’re following all the state guidelines. ... We’re following all the protocols, not just (NHL) protocols, but the state protocols.”
Pastrnak has 48 goals on the season, tied with the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin for most in the league. He is also third in total points with 95.
Kase was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 21, giving him just six games with his new team.
Pastrnak and Kase reportedly have worked out on their own at an ice rink near Boston, while missing the opening of practice with the team. A late arrival back into the U.S. reportedly is the reason the players have not had a prompt return to practice.
“We had the date for when camp was started and knew that some players may need to quarantine when they get here, you kind of hope that they would get here a little earlier,” Neely said. “But you didn’t really have much say in that. That was really left up to the players. Obviously with what’s played out and transpired, you certainly would have hoped there were some different decisions made.”