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Kings, Leafs not too worried about the mumps outbreak

TORONTO -- Once the Los Angeles Kings saw their SoCal rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, lose players to mumps last month, they didn't take too long to react.

Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said Sunday that his players were all vaccinated about "2-3 weeks ago."

Not that his players seemed particularly worried about it, even after the news that the game's top player, Sidney Crosby, was diagnosed with it on Sunday.

"I don't even think about it, to be honest," superstar Kings blue-liner Drew Doughty said after Sunday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs. "I'm not too worried about it. If I get it, I get it. I hope I don't. I hope no one on our team does, but there's really nothing we can do. We have sanitizers all over the rink and all over the plan and stuff like that. We’re trying not to get it, obviously."

While the Kings were given the shot, the Maple Leafs say they gave their players the option of getting the vaccine shot, although it appears most players did it.

"Well, I just got my shot today," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Sunday. "They dragged me in, I was the last one. I thought that I had [been vaccinated] 58 years ago, so I didn't think I'd need another one, but I guess there's a new strain out that they better look after us."

The NHL and NHL Players' Association have been closely monitoring the situation.

"We have been in touch with our clubs through our infectious disease committee and circulated information on how best to minimize the outbreak," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com via email Sunday. "Most if not all of our clubs have now vaccinated all of their players, regardless of whether they were vaccinated in their youth."

The problem, Daly added, is that the mumps are highly contagious, and the period from contraction to the onset of symptoms is unusually long. That allows players to pass it along before they know they have it, Daly said.

"The NHLPA has been actively educating the players regarding the recent outbreak, while providing best practices on how to avoid contracting and spreading mumps," NHLPA senior spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said Sunday.

Each season at training camp, players are asked about their vaccine histories annually by team physicians, and players are encouraged to bring copies of their immunization records with them, according to another source.

Better bet that players will be on this next season at camp.