NHL postpones cross-border games due to COVID; decision on Olympic participation coming

nhl covid
May 27, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a press conference before game one of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL announced Sunday that all games matching a Canadian-based team against a U.S. team from Monday through the start of the holiday break on Thursday will be postponed and rescheduled.

The league said the games are being called off because of concerns about COVID-19 in relation to cross-border travel and the “fluid nature” of federal travel restrictions.

The postponements comprise these 12 games:
–Monday, Montreal at New York Islanders, plus Anaheim at Edmonton
–Tuesday, St. Louis at Ottawa, Vancouver at San Jose
–Wednesday, Montreal at the New York Rangers, Winnipeg at Dallas, Edmonton at Los Angeles
–Thursday, St. Louis at Toronto, Carolina at Ottawa, Montreal at New Jersey, Anaheim at Vancouver, Edmonton at San Jose.

The NHL said it will continue to play its 2021-22 regular-season schedule

NHL olympics
Feb 24, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Canada and Czech Republic players shake hands after the men’s ice hockey bronze medal match during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre. Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports

“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,” the league said in a statement. “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. “

Still to be determined is whether NHL players will participate in the Winter Olympics in Beijing beginning in February. A statement from the league and the players association said the two sides “are actively discussing the matter … and expect to be in a position to announce a final determination in the coming days.”

The deadline to opt-out is January 10, 2022.

–Field Level Media