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Sabres' Taylor Hall confirms positive COVID-19 test; first Sabres player to return from NHL protocol list

Taylor Hall was the first of the Buffalo Sabres players in the NHL's COVID-19 Protocol to return to practice with the team on Saturday.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) skates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Sabres forward Taylor Hall was back on the ice Saturday for practice, as the first of nine players on the team to return from the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list, and said he did test positive for the coronavirus when he was put on the list on Feb. 2.

"I had tested positive, and I was asymptomatic, so I just had to quarantine for 10 days," Hall said after practice.

The 29-year old forward said he was feeling healthy and was able to complete a rehab skate on Friday, ahead of his return to the ice with the team. Hall anticipates he will be able to play on Monday against the New York Islanders, in the Sabres next scheduled game, despite the time away from the rink.

"Unfortunately, with the league's protocol, we're not allowed to work out at home when you test positive for COVID," Hall said about being ready and in 'game-shape' on Monday.

"I'm working back into it, but there's lots of times in the summer where I take seven to eight, nine, ten days off at a time to rest and come back and skate, and you don't always feel great... It eventually comes back pretty quick, and I'm not worried about that."

Hall was the only Sabres player taken off the NHL's official protocol list on Saturday.

Dylan Cozens, Rasmus Dahlin, Curtis Lazar, Jake McCabe, Casey Mittelstadt, Brandon Montour, Tobias Rieder and Rasmus Ristolainen are still listed in the league's protocol.

The Sabres haven't played a game since Jan. 31 against the New Jersey Devils, before nine players were added to the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list over the span of seven days. The league postponed six straight Sabres game against the Islanders, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.