NHL pushes pause amid virus outbreak

The NHL is beginning a league-wide shutdown this week with 10 of the league's clubs currently on pause due to COVID outbreaks. 49 games have been postponed so far this year. 15% of the leagues players are in COVID protocol

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December 21, 2021 - 8:55 AM

Blackhawks goaltender Marc-André Fleury (29) blocks a shot by Capitals center Michael Sgarbossa (23) in the second period. Photo by TNS

The NHL is beginning a leaguewide shutdown Wednesday amid a rise in positive COVID-19 test results among players, and with 10 of the league’s 32 teams’ schedules already paused and their facilities closed.

The league announced Monday night that it will open its annual holiday break two days earlier than scheduled and have it run through Saturday. The decision, reached in coordination with the NHL Players’ Association, means five additional games scheduled for Thursday will be postponed, bringing the total this season to 49.

Two games slated for Tuesday are still set to go on as scheduled. Teams will then report back for COVID-19 testing and practice on Sunday, a day before games are set to resume. Players and members of each team’s traveling party will be required to test negative before being allowed back in their respective facilities.

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