The NHL announced on Wednesday a revised second half schedule now that players will not be participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
When the 2021-22 schedule was released, the league had worked in a three-week break from Feb. 3-22 to cover the NHL All-Star Game in Las Vegas and the Olympic tournament in China. Surging COVID-19 cases caused too much disruption to the regular-season with 104 games postponed. That led to the league and NHLPA agreeing to opt-out of participating for the first time since the Sochi Games in 2014.
“We are profoundly grateful to our fans for their support and understanding during a challenging time and to our clubs, the NHL Players’ Association and the players for their cooperation in a rescheduling of unprecedented logistical complexity,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly in a statement.
The update will see all 32 teams finish out their individual 82-game schedules by Friday, April 29. Over 98 games have been rescheduled with 23 other games being moves to accommodate the new dates. (Six of those 104 games had been previously rescheduled.)
There will still be an All-Star break from Feb. 3-6 with regular season games resuming on Monday, Feb. 7. The original Olympic break from Feb. 7-22 will now feature 95 games.
The Senators have the busiest schedule during what was to be the Olympic break with 10 games over that span. Following them, the Hurricanes, Jets and Maple Leafs will each play eight games over those two weeks. It will be a lot of hockey for teams and a grind the rest of the way. Minnesota, for example, has 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.
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