Your hockey news roundup has only one item this week, and it’s the only item that should matter to the discerning hockey fan: the Vancouver Canucks have mumps.
Only Troy Stecher has so far been confirmed to be infected, but four other players (Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput, and Markus Granlund) are starting to show symptoms and have been put under quarantine.
For those who didn’t just read the Wiki on mumps two seconds ago, it’s a viral infection that causes a nasty fever, and its victims’ salivary glands get good and swollen. Remember Sidney Crosby’s asymmetrical mump-face in 2014? That’s what poor Troy Stecher has in store for him, and probably a sizable chunk of the Canucks roster as well.
This isn’t the first time mumps have infiltrated the NHL, and I’m betting won’t be the last as long as hockey players keep sweating and spitting around each other. Mumps are spread through close contact and bodily fluids like sweat and saliva, which is great for the League, since hockey is 70% touching and 30% sweating (I did the math).
But mumps is one of those diseases that nobody gets anymore, right? Like scarlet fever or polio? Sure, ideally. Most of the developed world has its bases covered with mumps vaccines, but even those aren’t 100% effective. At a press conference regarding the Canucks mumps situation, Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed that only one of the five players in question had received a double dose of mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine. People born after 1994 automatically get a double dose, which protects against mumps 88% of the time, but a single dose only results in 78% effectiveness. Cool! At least only five players seem to be affected so far. I sincerely hope they have been placed in protective bubbles and not allowed any interaction with the outside world for the next year, just in case.
Not only have the Canucks been hit with an old-timey child’s disease, but the San Jose Sharks can’t be too jazzed about their Saturday game against the Vancouver Mumps. There’s gonna be a lot of touching and sweating involved, and who knows who else on the Canucks might be secretly infected. Is it too much to ask that everyone wear a hazmat suit during the game?
Now, everybody form a prayer circle in hopes that we get some good high-res interview pics of Troy Stecher with that freaky swollen mumps jaw.
This piece was written by the talented Meg Smitherman. Check out more of her work on Twitter.
Featured image via Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press