VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks say they'll be ready to play on Saturday regardless of who dresses.
The Canucks locker-room has been hit with a case of the mumps and at least five players will be out of the lineup on Saturday when they return from their league mandated five-day break to face the San Jose Sharks.
"Obviously some adversity you'd probably like to not have but that's the hand we are dealt with," forward Alex Burrows said after Friday night's practice. "The guys that are in the lineup, they got to step up and be difference makers, that's how we're going to approach it."
"It's pure bad luck.... something like this is a little unexpected and we don't know who will be available for tomorrow and who won't, so we'll see tomorrow," said forward Jannik Hansen.
Vancouver released a statement earlier Friday saying at least one player has been diagnosed with mumps and that several others have shown symptoms of the highly contagious virus.
Troy Stecher is the only confirmed case, while fellow defencemen Chris Tanev and Nikita Tryamkin, along with forwards Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund have all shown symptoms.
"My understanding is those guys are showing symptoms, when they're showing symptoms they need to be quarantined," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said after practice. "If it turns out once they're tested they're clear, then they're good... until they're cleared they're quarantined and not playing."
Players with symptoms were immediately tested and quarantined for a five-day period or until test results prove negative.
"We're taking this very seriously given how easily mumps can spread," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in the statement.
The team added that vaccines are also being administered to minimize further risk of contraction, along with universal preventative hygiene measures, including disinfecting all dressing room areas.
The mumps virus is found in saliva and respiratory droplets. It is spread person to person through coughing, sneezing or coming into contact with saliva.
This isn't the first time the hockey world has been hit by the mumps. Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was among a group of players diagnosed with the virus during the 2014-15 season.
The outbreak with the Canucks came the same day public health officials and infectious disease experts urged Canadians to check that their vaccinations are up to date as clusters of mumps are investigated in Ontario and Alberta. Measles cases are also being probed in Nova Scotia.
In Alberta, seven players and a coach with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League have been hit by mumps.