Roy to COVID-19 protocol list, out tonight – Durzi to active roster, Thomas to taxi squad

Insiders, a few roster moves this afternoon, in advance of tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

– Defenseman Matt Roy has been added to the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol List, and will not play this evening.
– Defenseman Sean Durzi has been recalled from the taxi squad and is added to the active roster.
– Forward Akil Thomas has been reassigned from the AHL’s Ontario Reign to the taxi squad.

Roy’s addition to the COVID Protocol List, as we’ve discussed before, could be for any of a variety of different reasons. We’ve seen players on the list for anywhere from a day to more than two weeks, and various lengths in between.

Roy is obviously a big loss for the Kings. “Steady Eddie” does a number of things well for the Kings, and is a huge part of the team’s defensive core. First and foremost, the thoughts are with his health. Secondly, from a Kings point of view, his absence in the lineup, the roles he plays, and the minutes that he logs will be sorely missed, however long he is out of the lineup for.

In the short term, it means he will not play this evening at STAPLES Center. Roy’s absence potentially puts the Kings down three of their regular six defensemen, with Olli Maatta on injured reserve, and Tobias Bjornfot missing last night’s game, following an elbow to the head from Chandler Stephensen on Wednesday in Vegas. Bjornfot has not been officially ruled out for tonight, with no morning skate today to seek an update.

Options to replace Roy on the blueline include Durzi and Kale Clague, who was added to the active roster yesterday afternoon, and skated in warmups prior to yesterday’s game. Clague has 15 NHL games to his name, after he made his NHL debut in December 2019 in Buffalo, while Durzi has yet to make his NHL debut.

The puck-moving Durzi has 13 points (2-11-13) from 23 games played so far this season with the AHL’s Ontario Reign, and has 27 points (5-22-27) from 62 career games with Ontario. Over his last ten games, Durzi has nine points (3-6-9) and a +8 rating.

Will look for additional updates on tonight’s lineup as we approach puck drop tonight at STAPLES Center.

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