NHL COVID news: Season continues, games moved, Olympic decision soon

nhl postpones
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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.

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 phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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