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As of right now, the only unvaccinated player in the NHL remains Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who was barred from playing in games north of the Canadian border due to Canadian health regulations. And while the Red Wings supported their productive and gritty forward's personal choice, there could be a new option on the table for how they would deal with the situation moving forward, should they so choose.
This past season, Bertuzzi wasn't allowed to play in games in Canadian NHL cities, but it appears as though that policy will soon be coming to an end. According to The Toronto Globe and Mail, Canada plans to scrap their COVID-19 vaccination requirement at the border for entry into the country.
"It's his decision," Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said prior to the season. "I'm getting cliche now, but that's the world we live in today and I'm not in a position to force anyone. We can't force anyone to get vaccinated. I personally am vaccinated. My family is vaccinated. I'll leave it at that."
Bertuzzi, who did in fact test positive for the illness last season, remained steadfast in his decision not to take the vaccine, saying that he has "natural immunity now".
“There were a few days I was stuffy and didn’t really want to do any cardio," he explained of his experience with the illness. "I pretty much walked every day with my dog to the park and I tried to stay as active as I possibly could. “Obviously it sucks missing games, but it is what it is,” Bertuzzi said.