Devils suffer Covid setback

Cardiff Devils will be without head coach Jarrod Skalde and his assistant Neil Francis following a suspected positive Covid test.

Their absence – along with British pair Ben Davies and Josh Batch – is a blow for the Welsh side as they prepare for their opening CHL game against DEL outfit Adler Mannheim tonight (Thursday) at Ice Arena Wales.

A statement on the Devils website confirmed the quartet’s absence from the game tonight and conformed that former Cardiff assistant, Jamie Elsom and Managing Director Todd Kelman will take the team for their first competitive game since March 2020.

Cardiff Devils managing director Todd Kelman will take the team in the CHL against Adler Mannheim (PHOTO: Cardiff Devils)

The statement said: “Head Coach Jarrod Skalde, Assistant Coach Neil Francis, and two players – Ben Davies and Josh Batch have all been ruled out for tonight’s game under CHL Covid-19 protocol.”

“All other players and staff members of the team have been cleared for CHL participation by proof of negative PCR test ahead of their upcoming game.

Former Devils Assistant Coach Jamie Elson and Devils Managing Director Todd Kelman have stepped in to coach the team tonight against Mannheim.

“Covid-19 Protocol Related Absences” in the CHL can be the result of a number of factors including, among others, an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed; mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals; required quarantine as a high-risk close contact; isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; quarantine for travel or other reasons. The CHL will not announce additional details including the precise reason for individual cases.