RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal has an attic in his house and during the past couple of years of the COVID pandemic, he’s seen every inch of it. Including recently when he, once again, had to quarantine after catching COVID-19.

“You know it makes it more difficult when you hear your kids running around below you and you can’t go down and see them,” said Staal. “And your wife, you know, we’ve been gone for I think 33 of the last
38 days so she’s on her last straw — so it was tough in that regard.”

Staal has escaped his attic and on Sunday he, and five of his teammates who entered COVID protocol on
Dec. 13 and 14 were back on the ice for the first time after the NHL’s four-day holiday break.

“I thought everyone looked pretty good considering COVID for a lot of the guys and then the break added in there,” said Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I thought everyone looked alright, it’s hard to say. You know I thought the spirits were good and everyone was excited to be out there, so that was good.”

Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour at practice the day after Christmas. Photo by Todd Gibson/CBS 17

The only big negative was an empty net where Frederik Andersen usually roams. He’s out with COVID along with three other Canes including Jesper Fast.

But for the most part, the Hurricanes are in pretty good shape after getting three of the team’s best players back in Andrei Svechnikov, Staal and Sebastian Aho.

“Yeah it wasn’t easy, not ideal,” said Aho. “The team got me home and being able to be home and I wasn’t that sick, so I guess it could be a lot worse, too.”

The Hurricanes will practice on Monday as well and await word on whether or not they’ll be able to play their next scheduled game which, for now, is set to take place on Thursday when Montreal comes to Raleigh.