NHL suspending play until after Christmas

·1 min read
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NHL logo generic

The NHL is suspending play -- starting Wednesday -- until after Christmas, amid the latest COVID-19 outbreak.

"Under the revised schedule, Dec. 22, Dec. 23, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) shall be off days for all purposes -- including travel," the NHL and NHLPA announced in a joint statement Monday. "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. The League’s regular-season schedule will resume on Monday, Dec. 27."

Only two games are scheduled until next Monday -- the Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning at Vegas Golden Knights, which are both set for Tuesday -- ESPN's Emily Kaplan reported earlier Monday.

The Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild played Monday.

The league announced Sunday the postponement of all cross-border games until after the holiday, which led to the Rangers, Islanders and Devils games this week against the Montreal Canadiens to be pushed back to later dates.

Forty-four games have been postponed overall.

The league also said Sunday that it would announce a decision in the coming days regarding players participating in the Olympics. They have until Jan. 10 to opt out of the Olympics without financial penalties. It is "highly unlikely" that NHL players will go to the Olympics, ESPN reported.