VANCOUVER, BC - Sven Baertschi will not join Utica Comets parent club, Vancouver Canucks, for the NHL's return inthe 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs after announcing he has opted out due to health concerns, Saturday.
Baertschi announced the decision on Twitter, where he wrote: "Due to concerns and risks of COVID-19 to my family, I made the difficult decision to opt out of the 2020 playoffs. I wish all of my teammates success."
Due to concerns and risks of Covid-19 to my family, I made the difficult decision to opt out of the 2020 playoffs. I wish all of my teammates success.
— Sven Baertschi (@SvenBaertschi) July 11, 2020
The left-winger was to be one of nine Utica Comets players, three forwards, to join the Vancouver roster for the postseason return.
"Sven informed us late [Friday] that he has chosen to opt out of the NHL Return to Play Program," said Canucks General Mnager Jim Benning. "It was a difficult decision, but ultimately one we respect and understand."
The Canucks have announced that Comets forward Kole Lind will replace Baertschi on the roster.
Baertschi is among six players across the league that have announced their decision to forgo returning this postseason, joining Edmonton's Mike Green, Boston's Steven Kampfer, Dallas' Roman Polak, Montreal's Karl Alzner and Calgary's Tavis Hamonic.
Players have until Monday to inform their teams about a decision to opt out.
After a surprising AHL assignment at the beginning of the season, Baerscthi played in 43 games for the Comets, where finished fourth on the team with 46 points (13 G, 33 A).