Reports: NHL will suspend season from December 22-25, Olympics off table

KHL team quits
Puck on ice. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL has sent a memo to all teams indicating that it will pause the season on December 22 and reopen on December 26, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

“According to memo sent to teams/players, schedule resumes Monday, Dec. 27,” he said in a tweet. The memo also stated: “Upon return from the holiday break to team facilities, no individual in the team’s travelling party shall enter (other than for testing purposes) until they have a negative test result.”

NHL Press Release:

Players will report back to their Clubs on Dec. 26, which shall be used for testing, practice and/or travel only. Upon return from the Holiday Break to team facilities, no individual in the team’s Traveling Party shall enter the facility (other than for testing purposes) until they have a negative test result. Any practice scheduled for Dec. 26 must begin after 2:00 p.m. local time.

Olympic participation off the table

The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli also confirmed that games slated for December 21 will go on depending on testing.

In addition to conversations on the schedule, Daily Faceoff has learned that the NHL and NHLPA are in agreement that NHL players will not participate in the Beijing 2022 Winter Games in China. A formal announcement is expected to be made in the coming days, upon the two sides officially notifying the International Olympic Committee of their intention.

Daily FaceOff

NHL schedule makers put out two versions earlier in the year, one that included a break for the Olympics and another that did not. The two-week pause from February 7-22 will now be used to make up games.

“Sources confirm the February break in the NHL schedule, originally for the Olympics, will now be used to play make up games for all games taken off the board,” reported Andy Strickland.

In the August news release, the NHL wrote that should its players not take part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the league will shift to a revised regular-season schedule.

The recent COVID spike leading to multiple shutdowns and game postponements made going to Beijing and successfully completing an 82 schedule near impossible.