Rising COVID-19 numbers lead Detroit Red Wings to shut down through Christmas

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A day after Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin wondered about a possible shut down, the Wings have been put on pause through Christmas.

The decision was announced Sunday. The Wings only had one game, Dec. 23 at the Minnesota Wild, on the schedule for the coming week, because Monday's game against the Colorado Avalanche was postponed when the Avs put their season on pause Friday.

Over the past week, the Wings have placed multiple personnel into pandemic protocol: Players Alex Nedeljkovic, Filip Zadina, Robby Fabbri, Michael Rasmussen, Carter Rowney and Givani Smith, along with head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay. Tyler Bertuzzi, Danny DeKeyser and Marc Staal also have been in quarantine.

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin, second from left, celebrates with center Kyle Criscuolo (42), right wing Riley Barber (26) and defenseman Gustav Lindstrom (28) after scoring a hat trick against the Devils during the second period of the Wings' win on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, at Little Caesars Arena.
Red Wings center Dylan Larkin, second from left, celebrates with center Kyle Criscuolo (42), right wing Riley Barber (26) and defenseman Gustav Lindstrom (28) after scoring a hat trick against the Devils during the second period of the Wings' win on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, at Little Caesars Arena.

The Wings still played Saturday, beating the New Jersey Devils, 5-2. Larkin said afterwards that, "We did wonder today if the league is going to step in."

In addition to the Wings and Avalanche, the virus also has forced the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames to shut down their seasons.

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The Wings are scheduled to play at the New York Rangers Dec. 27.

A decision on when to resume will be made by the Wings in conjunction with the league and NHL Players Association.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: COVID-19 leads Detroit Red Wings to shut down through holiday