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Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Rowney, Smith and Suter among Red Wings removed from COVID-19 protocol

Just one day after the Detroit Red Wings returned from the holiday break, they’ve announced some very encouraging news as three players and two coaching members have exited the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol.

On Monday, the team cleared forwards Carter Rowney, Givani Smith and Pius Suter from the COVID list. In addition, coaches Jeff Blashill and Alex Tanguay were also cleared to return by team doctors.

Rowney, Smith and Suter now join teammates Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen as the latest skaters to be removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol since the holiday break concluded.

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Unfortunately, rookie Lucas Raymond and defenseman Nick Leddy were placed in protocol Sunday, sidelining both players for at least nine more days.

Rowney, 32, has appeared in 19 games during his inaugural campaign with the Red Wings, posting two goals, three points, 28 hits, 17 blocks, nine shots on goal and a trio of takeaways over his 10:49 minutes of ice-time per game.

Smith, 23, has logged just 8:28 minutes of ice-time per game through 24 games this season, registering two goals, four points, 39 hits, 24 shots on goal, 15 blocks and four takeaways.

As for Suter, 25, he’s made 31 appearances with the Red Wings in 2021-22, averaging 16:37 minutes of ice-time per game and producing five goals, 15 points, 65 shots on goal, 12 blocks, nine hits, nine takeaways and a 49.4 percent faceoff percentage.

Detroit is scheduled to return to game action on Dec. 29 against the New York Islanders, beginning at 7:30 pm ET.