In a Sunday press release, the NHL shared several important COVID-related updates. While the NHL regular season won’t go on a full pause, more games were postponed (all games with cross-border travel were moved through at least the holiday break of Dec. 23), and the league indicated a decision about participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics could come in a matter of days.
Update: the Detroit Red Wings’ games have been shut down through the holiday break (Dec. 23). Those postponements include Monday’s game (already postponed) against the Avalanche, and a Dec. 23 game vs. the Wild.
At this point, it looks like at least 40 NHL games (27 dates already passed; 13 still to come) will be postponed due to COVID, and that number could increase in little time.
It’s a lot to digest. Let’s break down the NHL COVID news into more manageable pieces. For the full list of NHL games postponed due to COVID, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
NHL regular season continues, but games with cross-border travel postponed
The NHL and NHLPA shed light on why the regular season will continue in a new reality of COVID variants such as omicron. Perhaps the key phrase is “case-by-case basis.”
Check out this portion of the NHL press release about COVID, the regular season, postponements, and Olympic participation.
Although there has been a recent increase in positive COVID test results among players, coaches and hockey staff, there have been a low number of positive cases that have resulted in concerning symptoms or serious illness. Therefore, the NHLPA’s and NHL’s medical experts have determined that, with virtually all Players and club hockey staff fully vaccinated, the need to temporarily shut down individual teams should continue to be made on a case-by-case basis.
That press release also clarified the cross-border NHL games that will be postponed through at least the Dec. 23 holiday break.
Monday, Dec. 20:
Montreal @ NY Islanders; Anaheim @ Edmonton
Tuesday, Dec. 21:
St. Louis @ Ottawa; Vancouver @ San Jose
Wednesday, Dec. 22:
Montreal @ NY Rangers; Winnipeg @ Dallas; Edmonton @ Los Angeles
Thursday, Dec. 23:
St. Louis @ Toronto; Carolina @ Ottawa; Montreal @ New Jersey; Anaheim @ Vancouver; Edmonton @ San Jose
Late on Sunday, the NHL announced that the Maple Leafs will pause team activities through Dec. 26.
The @MapleLeafs will pause team activities at least through the scheduled completion of the @NHL’s Holiday Break in the schedule on Dec. 26. https://t.co/k5JATiAMV8 pic.twitter.com/9wRecoiyge
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 20, 2021
NHL, NHLPA could make Olympic participation decision soon
That press release notes that the NHL and NHLPA are “actively discussing” whether players should participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. With that, they expect to possibly “announce a final determination in the coming days.”
Considering the context of COVID outbreaks and the framing in that release, that doesn’t sound promising. But we’ll see, and maybe find out soon enough.
(Most things in the NHL, and life, feel like they’re on a case-by-case basis lately, right?)
Full list of NHL games postponed due to COVID, with some new dates
Via the NHL, here is the full list of postponed games (COVID-related) this season:
|Matchup||Original Date||New Date|
|Ottawa at New Jersey||Nov. 16||Dec. 6|
|Nashville at Ottawa||Nov. 18||TBA|
|NY Rangers at Ottawa||Nov. 20||TBA|
|NY Islanders at NY Rangers||Nov. 28||March 17|
|NY Islanders at Philadelphia||Nov. 30||TBA|
|Calgary at Chicago||Dec. 13||TBA|
|Calgary at Nashville||Dec. 14||TBA|
|Carolina at Minnesota||Dec. 14||TBA|
|Toronto at Calgary||Dec. 16||TBA|
|Boston at Montreal||Dec. 18||TBA|
|Florida at Minnesota||Dec. 18||TBA|
|Tampa Bay at Colorado||Dec. 18||TBA|
|Columbus at Calgary||Dec. 18||TBA|
|Toronto at Vancouver||Dec. 18||TBA|
|Boston at Ottawa||Dec. 19||TBA|
|Nashville at Carolina||Dec. 19||TBA|
|Arizona at Vancouver||Dec. 19||TBA|
|Toronto at Seattle||Dec. 19||TBA|
|Colorado at Detroit||Dec. 20||TBA|
|Montreal at NY Islanders||Dec. 20||TBA|
|Anaheim at Edmonton||Dec. 20||TBA|
|Carolina at Boston||Dec. 21||TBA|
|St. Louis at Ottawa||Dec. 21||TBA|
|Florida at Chicago||Dec. 21||TBA|
|Winnipeg at Nashville||Dec. 21||TBA|
|Anaheim at Calgary||Dec. 21||TBA|
|Vancouver at San Jose||Dec. 21||TBA|
|Colorado at Buffalo||Dec. 22||TBA|
|Montreal at NY Rangers||Dec. 22||TBA|
|Winnipeg at Dallas||Dec. 22||TBA|
|Edmonton at Los Angeles||Dec. 22||TBA|
|St. Louis at Toronto||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Colorado at Boston||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Carolina at Ottawa||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Nashville at Florida||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Montreal at New Jersey||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Detroit at Minnesota||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Seattle at Calgary||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Anaheim at Vancouver||Dec. 23||TBA|
|Edmonton at San Jose||Dec. 23||TBA|
As you can see, most of those games need to be rescheduled.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.