NHL Shuts Down due to Pandemic Concerns

With the rapid spread of Covid-19 throughout the NHL, which has landed 119 players scattered across 23 teams into covid protocols, NHL and the NHLPA officially announced that they would postpone the NHL regular season effective 12/22/21. NHL and NHLPA officials agreed to postpone five games to start the holiday break sooner in hopes of calming the surge of cases. Players will now report to their teams on 12/26 to begin testing for their returns. The league has mandated that no one in the team traveling parties can enter facilities until AFTER they have a negative test result.

Regular season activities are set to resume on 12/27 as currently constructed. The NHL has already sent a memo to all teams instructing them on enhanced protocols for Covid-19 beginning in early January, similar to the requirements during the shortened season year.

This all now leads to the Olympic break in February; the sense around the league is that NHL players will decline from participating in Beijing due to concerns about the virus and quarantine requirements in China if they test positive. Andy Strickland tweeted this afternoon that the NHL will utilize the Olympic break to play the games that have been removed from the schedule due to the recent shutdowns.

We wish everyone a speedy recovery and a Happy Holidays! We will keep you up to date on current NHL news throughout the pause.

Connor Green

Managing Editor & Writer for Inside the Rink

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