The NHL season is going on a pause starting tomorrow and will run through the Christmas holiday break. With the current COVID outbreak in the league, too may players, coaches, and staff members had landed in the league’s COVID protocol and too many teams were getting shut down, even for a case-by-case approach. The NHL hopes to resume league activities on December 27.
• No one wants this. This all sucks. But if they league is trying to curb COVID cases, it’s the right measure to take.
The NHL is Reportedly Suspending the Season Through Christmashttps://t.co/Ded6UfBv7q
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) December 21, 2021
• How the league comes back from the pause will be interesting to monitor. With players heading home for the now extended holiday break, the hope is that they follow the recommendations of the league while with friends and families this week.
The NHL & NHLPA are not restricting travel for players over the (now extended) Christmas break
However they are recommending players avoid dining at restaurants (unless in a private area) + take appropriate precautious, like wearing masks indoors & avoiding public transportation
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) December 21, 2021
• This will effectively end the NHL’s opportunity to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. But as Frank Seravalli questions, maybe the 2022 Winter Olympics go the same route as the 2020 Summer Olympics, and gets pushed back a year?
No surprise, but #NHL + #NHLPA are in agreement that NHL players will not participate in #Beijing2022 Olympics. Once they notify IOC, an official announcement will come – perhaps as soon as today, maybe later this week.
Now, question is: Will 2022 Olympics be postponed to 2023? https://t.co/8aR0aKmqNl
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 21, 2021
• Again, it really, really sucks for us as hockey fans to miss a chance to see the best Men’s players in the world competing in the biggest international tournament there is. But the league is about making money, especially now after losing so much recently, and the Olympics makes the NHL no money.
Sources confirm the February break in the #NHL schedule, originally for the Olympics, will now be used to play make up games for all games taken off the board.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) December 21, 2021
• The pause puts the Blackhawks out three home games in the month of December that will need to be rescheduled, and that might not be the end of it, even if the NHL hopes things can resume as normal on the 27th.
The Hawks' next 4 games after the holiday break (vs. Blue Jackets, at Jets, at Predators, vs Flames) are all uncertain, too.
CBJ, NSH and CGY are all currently shut down due to COVID outbreaks, and playing WPG and CGY would require US-Canada cross-border travel.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) December 21, 2021
• If you did have plans to go to the game on Thursday, hopefully this can help:
For those with tickets to Thursday’s game: pic.twitter.com/xDFSmD2hEh
— Tracey Myers (@Tramyers_NHL) December 21, 2021
• Have I mentioned how much this sucks? Ok, just so we are clear.
• It’s not just the NHL going through this either, obviously. The AHL has had numerous teams shut down due to COVID issues, and now the red-hot Chicago Wolves and their 12-game winning streak, might be put on hold as well…
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) December 21, 2021
• At least there is some good coming from teams being shut down, like the Vancouver Canucks.
— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) December 19, 2021
• Also doing some good, Red Wings Captain Dylan Larkin…
Larkin knows those arena beers are expensive 😂👏pic.twitter.com/KqRG278BLm
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) December 21, 2021
• Yesterday was the first meeting of settlement talks between the Blackhawks and the representatives of “John Doe 2” in the sexual assault case involving a Michigan high school student and former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich. It appears there was no settlement reached after day one.
Chicago lawyer Susan Loggans represents Kyle Beach & "John Doe 2."
I've spoken to her regularly since May.
Loggans' response tonight to q's re NHL team's settlement talks w JD2: "No comment."
If there's a deal, highly unusual Blackhawks wouldn't want the public to know about it. https://t.co/NkyKUucKCt
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) December 20, 2021
• Chicago reached a settlement with former player Kyle Beach in one sitting, so we will see what happens in the case of :John Doe 2.”
• The Arizona Coyotes will not be homeless!
Coyotes fulfill payment to arena management company, won't be locked out of Gila River Arena https://t.co/ougzhFA22P
— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) December 20, 2021
• What a low-bar to reach.
• The World Junior Championships are still on as of this moment, but pre-tournament warmup games (you remember, the warmup games where Kirby Dach broke his wrist last year) had to be modified. Here is the new pre-tournament schedule, with group round games beginning on December 26.
Here’s the new pre-tournament schedule for the World Juniors (all times Dec. 23):
🇫🇮 vs. 🇺🇸 at 12 p.m. MT/2 p.m. ET
🇷🇺 vs. 🇨🇦 at 5 p.m. MT/7 p.m. ET
🇸🇰 vs. 🇩🇪 at 2 p.m MT/4 p.m. ET
🇨🇿 vs. 🇨🇭 at 5 p.m. MT/7 p.m. ET
🇦🇹 vs. 🇸🇪 at 7 p.m. MT/9 p.m. ET
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 21, 2021
• The Blackhawks have four prospects playing at this year’s tournament: Michael Krutil (Czech), Drew Commesso (USA), Wyatt Kaiser (USA), and Landon Slaggert (USA). In the Slaggert household, we learned from Dad and Notre Dame Head Coach Andy Slaggert, that he and his sons (Graham, Landon, and Carter) hold a 2v2 game every year.
The best holiday hockey tradition — after WJC — is the “Christmas Classic” in South Bend: @AndySlaggert and @slaggs_9 vs. @GrahamSlaggert and @CarterSlaggert. Coach Slaggert has the scouting report of a storied rivalry. ☘️ @NDHockey @NHLNetwork @usahockey pic.twitter.com/4NoymBy2wk
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 19, 2021
• Hopefully that’s a good story to end on when things seem so depressing.
• That will do it for today. Go enjoy your Tuesday!
• Don’t forget, if you’re looking for your hockey-fix tonight, the IceHogs take on the Admirals in AHL action.