This isn't exactly ideal.
UPDATE: The NHL announced Wednesday evening that Koivu, 37, is "unavailable" to play in the Blue Jackets' season opener as part of the league's COVID-19 protocols. The league will not disclose whether a player has tested positive for the coronavirus, if they have been exposed/or were a close contact, etc.
The length of Koivu's absence is not yet known, but he is not expected to play in either of the Blue Jackets' two games this weekend against the Nashville Predators.
Blue Jackets' center Mikko Koivu will miss the season opener in Nashville on Thursday night with an undisclosed issue.
Told #CBJ center Mikko Koivu (undisclosed) will miss Thursdays opener in Nashville.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 13, 2021
John Tortorella spoke with the media via Zoom on Wednesday morning, and said Koivu would not travel with the team to Nashville. With the veteran out, the Blue Jackets will have to reshuffle their lines. Koivu did not practice yesterday, but did play in an intrasquad scrimmage on Jan. 10. Here's what the lines looked like at practice today:
#CBJ same as yesterday. No Mikko Koivu today again.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) January 13, 2021
Mikhail Grigorenko has impressed enough to get top-line minutes, and Alexandre Texier is slotted in at center on the third line. He has played center before, but not with the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets will open their season tomorrow night in Nashville at 8 p.m. ET.