A few hours ahead of the Calgary Flames tilt against the Los Angeles Kings at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Flames organization tweeted that winger Micheal Ferland is under observation for the mumps and will not play Sunday night.
Alex Chiasson will take Ferland’s place on a line with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau.
The mumps virus has been lingering in hockey locker rooms all season across western Canada.
In Medicine Hat, a mumps outbreak sparked an alert as the Western Hockey League tried to tame the spread of the virus.
The Tigers played in Calgary on Feb. 10; they’ve traveled to 11 cities between Jan. 24 and Feb. 21. Players were asked to stay home if they showed any symptoms.
The mumps were first detected in a player for the Brandon Wheat Kings before the illness spread to the Tigers earlier in February.
It also hit the University of Alberta and the Vancouver Canucks hockey team.
There was also a mumps outbreak in 2014 through NHL locker rooms. Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry and Ryan Suter were among the superstars that fell victim to mumps.
Mumps is an extremely contagious viral infection of the salivary glands. Symptoms include low level fever, headache and swollen facial glands. It takes between nine and 25 days for symptoms to show, according to medical officers.
Symptoms include fever, sore muscles, headache and the telltale painful swelling in your cheeks and neck.
If there was a silver lining to the day, it would be Curtis Lazar making his debut with the Flames.
The 22-year-old captained the gold medal-winning Team Canada squad at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships in Toronto and Montreal.
The Salmon Arm, B.C. native also played four seasons of junior hockey in the WHL for the Edmonton Oil Kings, with whom he won the 2014 Memorial Cup.
The Flames go into the game sitting in a Pacific Division playoff spot. They are third in their division, behind the Anaheim Ducks by one point and the San Jose Sharks by seven points.
The game also signifies the return of former Flames captain Jarome Iginla to his old barn since he was acquired by the Kings on deadline day this year.
Los Angeles acquired the veteran winger from the Colorado Avalanche for a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick.
The last time Iginla played for Darryl Sutter – the current head coach of the Kings, they were both with the Calgary Flames.
Iginla, 39, joins his fifth NHL team for one more run at the Stanley Cup that has eluded him.
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