The Calgary Flames placed forwards Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan, and defenseman Noah Hanifin in NHL COVID-19 protocol Tuesday.

They joined forwards Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson and Adam Ruzicka, defensemen Christopher Tanev and Nikita Zadorov, and a member of the training staff who went into protocol Monday, when the NHL announced the Flames had their next three games postponed.

The NHL on Monday also cited a continued spread and the likelihood of additional positive cases in the coming days. The Flames were scheduled to play at the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday and Nashville Predators on Tuesday, and host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. Rescheduled dates for those games are to be determined.

The Flames (15-7-6) are next scheduled to play Saturday at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"We're keeping the picture small," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Tuesday. "I don't want to make any proclamations about what's going to happen tomorrow, never mind Saturday. We have to prepare. The lesson for all of us in this time is you take the information you have and you make the best decision you can and you move forward. So today we know what we've got in terms of positive tests. We know that games have been postponed until Thursday. We have to plan accordingly until we have further information. 

"Certainly there are challenges, but we'll see. Tuesday to Saturday seems like an eternity now."

Calgary's training facilities are closed for players until further notice.

Treliving said Flames players were tested Saturday morning in advance of their planned flight to Chicago on Sunday. When three positive tests came back by early Sunday morning, the entire team was tested again at the airport Sunday before its scheduled departure.

The flight was delayed pending results. Treliving said Calgary contemplated flying to Chicago early Monday, but the three original positive tests were confirmed and three other positive tests came back late Sunday, prompting the postponements.

"As we all learned in the past couple of years, you stay limber and nimble and prepare to pivot," Treliving said. "We're postponed through Thursday. That was the initial call. And obviously we monitor as things go forward here.

"We're dealing with an imperfect … we'd all like there to be no COVID. There is, so we've got to deal with it. And so I don't think that's a problem. You deal with it. Once this thing started, you do your best to try to limit it. Once we got the results back on Sunday morning, we just felt, let's be safe. I don't think there's any perfect situation or perfect way to go about it. You do the very best you can. Our medical staff and doctors do a great job to try to keep everybody safe. We're dealing with a pandemic. There's a lot of imperfections right now when you deal with this."

Treliving said the nine players and one staff member in protocol just add to the roster and logistical issues a team and general manager are always juggling.

"We're jumping back and forth between a few sandboxes," Treliving said. "You've got health and safety No. 1. So that takes precedence over everything. We've got a great medical team. Our people know whatever they need will be provided for them. But let's not lose sight that everything's a distant second to that.

"Then you're looking at other layers here. Roster-wise and all those other things, we're working through. We're still early in this situation. Right now we're postponed through Thursday but we're looking at scenarios, as positive tests come and players become available, what does that do to our roster? We'll have to wait and see how that works."

Treliving said he isn't sure the alarm over the past few days as quite risen to the level experienced when the pandemic began shutting down parts of the world in March 2020.

"That was a cold slap," he said. "It's part of the world. There are ebbs and flows to it. We hadn't really been in this kind of situation before. Other teams have. We're in it now, so we've got to deal with it. Everybody gets that fatigue, right? But you can't, you can't slip up, let your guard down. It's out there. You've got to stay diligent with it and deal with it as best you can.

"To me, it doesn't necessarily feel like the newness, when it all came upon us in our lives two years ago. Yeah, it's tough and it's draining and there's that fatigue factor but this is just part of life now. And so we've got to make sure we're doing the right things and keeping people safe and following the rules."

The NHL has postponed nine games this season because of COVID-19 concerns. There were 55 games postponed last season; all were made up as part of a 56-game schedule. staff writers Tracey Myers and Tim Campbell contributed to this report 

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