NHL, NHL Players’ Association Agree To Postpone Games Prior To Holiday Shutdown

After a spike in COVID-19 cases across the league, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association have agreed to postpone five games on Thursday, Dec. 23, one day before the scheduled holiday shutdown.

The decision comes one day after the NHL announced the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens would be shut down through the holiday break, and that four more games had been postponed–Columbus Blue Jackets vs. the Buffalo Sabres on Monday and Thursday, and Tuesday games between the New Jersey Devils & Pittsburgh Penguins and Seattle Kraken & Arizona Coyotes.

The Nashville Predators were among several teams who postponed all remaining games prior to the holiday shutdown. On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Preds announced the postponement of its Dec. 19 match at Carolina, Dec. 21 against Winnipeg, and Dec. 23 at Florida.

Under the revised NHL schedule, Dec. 22-25 shall be off days for all purposes, including travel.

Players will report back to their teams Sunday, Dec. 26, which shall only be used for testing, practice, and/or travel. Upon return from the holiday break, 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 Sunday must begin after 2 p.m. local time.

The newly announced NHL protocols for teams and players is in the process of reviewing and revising the regular season schedule.

Steven Boero