Despite an extended holiday pause, the NHL continues to postpone games, and players continue to enter COVID protocol. This post aims to keep you updated with NHL COVID news as it trickles in on Monday, Dec. 27.
First, a few quick notes regarding larger recent developments, in case you missed them:
- Before the holiday break/pause, the NHL postponed Monday’s 14 games as COVID numbers swelled.
- To little surprise, the NHL and NHLPA announced that players will not participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. While NHL players are disappointed, it could crown Russia as the new favorites for the gold.
- Amid all of these COVID challenges, the NHL agreed to allow teams to bring back taxi squads. Click here to read the larger and smaller details of that change.
- With COVID prompting three more NHL games to be moved (see below), the total is now at 70 postponed games.
Now let’s jump into the latest COVID news for the NHL.
NHL postpones three more games due to COVID; now 70 games total
The NHL postponed three more games (two on Wednesday, one on Friday) due to COVID concerns. As you can see, a home-and-home Stars – Avalanche series represented two of three postponed NHL games:
Wednesday, Dec. 29
Chicago @ Winnipeg
Dallas @ Colorado
Friday, Dec. 31
Colorado @ Dallas
Again, this follows the decision to postpone all 14 NHL games from Monday.
As of this writing, three of Tuesday’s four planned NHL games remain on the schedule. To reiterate, the NHL has now postponed 70 games due to COVID concerns.
Marc-Andre Fleury among latest players added to NHL COVID protocol
Truly, it’s dizzying to try to keep up with every single NHL player currently in (or entering) COVID protocol. Here are some noteworthy players who entered NHL COVID protocol on Monday, though:
- Marc-Andre Fleury (Blackhawks).
- Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer entered NHL COVID protocol, as did Golden Knights forward Brett Howden.
- Several Canadiens players entered NHL COVID protocol: Tyler Toffoli, Jake Allen, Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Jeff Petry, and Chris Wideman.
- The following Rangers entered NHL COVID protocol on Monday: Alexandar Georgiev, Ryan Lindgren, and Jarred Tinordi.
- Anton Forsberg (Senators).
- Three Flyers entered NHL COVID protocol a day after Ryan Ellis was added: Derick Brassard, Carter Hart, and Scott Laughton.
- Mason Appleton was added to the list of Kraken in protocol (a day after Vince Dunn and Ryan Donato).
Canucks’ Myers questions testing
On Monday, Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers joined those who have questioned the league’s testing standards, echoing comments by Steve Yzerman, Connor Hellebuyck, and others.
To Myers, Yzerman’s comments were “bang-on.”
“I completely understand there’s another side of it where there’s people if it’s not themselves have family members that are more vulnerable to what’s happening around the world right now. Everybody’s in a different situation,” Myers said, via Sportsnet. “I think as players the most frustrating part is seeing what other sports leagues are doing. It seems we’re heading the opposite direction of that. I think it’s a little confusing for us.”
Maybe it shouldn’t be so confusing. As Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello told the Associated Press, it mainly hinges on different standards in Canada vs. the U.S.
“Unless we weren’t playing in Canada and we didn’t have teams in Canada, you could consider that, and certainly it would be (considered),” Lamoriello said. “But with the guidelines and rules of Canada, it’s impossible to have happen. We wouldn’t be able to have games without the testing that is required to play in Canada.”
With that, the NHL may need to continue to navigate these COVID issues in a case-by-case basis.
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.