The NHL is Reportedly Suspending the Season Through Christmas
According to multiple reports, the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to suspend all league activities beginning on Wednesday, December 22 and running through Christmas. Activities will resume no earlier than 2:00 p.m. local time on December 26.
Sources tell @DailyFaceoff: #NHL, #NHLPA have agreed to suspend all operations for Dec. 22-25 and will re-open team facilities on Dec. 26 no earlier than 2pm local time. No practice, no testing during those days.
Tuesday’s 2 remaining games will be played – pending test results.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 21, 2021
This effectively postpones Thursday’s scheduled game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars. It will be Chicago’s third postponed game this month.
Changes in the NHL calendar. Off days are now December 22-23-24 and 25. Players will now report on the 26 for testing and practice. Players can’t be on the ice before 2pm local time.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) December 21, 2021
The league had originally agreed with the players association to continue the season schedule as planned, but had postponed any games that required crossing the U.S.-Canada border. That was yesterday afternoon. Today, after additional teams were shut down and players entered COVID protocol, the league and players association have tweaked their tune. Originally, there were ten games on the schedule for tomorrow, but through postponements and shut downs, it has been whittled-down to just two: Capitals vs. Flyers, and Lightning vs. Golden Knights.
With the rapid spread of COVID cases in the league, the NHL had its hand forced into pausing league operations for some time. Even with the implementation of enhanced COVID protocols through January 7, at least, there seems to be no real way of trying to curb the spike in cases without pausing games, practices, and travel. The NHL currently has 14 games scheduled for December 27. We will see what comes next for the league through the Christmas holiday break.