NHL Suspends Games Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Monday night's headlines were clear, the NHL will suspend the 2021-22 season on Wednesday and resume it after the Christmas break, as the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed. This came after a series of team failures to retain players as they filed into health and safety protocols, resulting in fewer and fewer games on the schedule. For fans who are looking to know where their team stands, the latest team updates and odd changes can be found on canadian-sports-betting.com.

The COVID-19 outbreak was exponentially growing across the league. This week, 11 different teams had to suspend games. More than 15% of players were already on the league's COVID-19 protocol list by Monday evening. The wave of game postponements has already begun (49 to be exact), including all of Wednesday night's games.

While the NHL and NHLPA tried desperately to avoid a game suspension, it was inevitable. Because the schedule was so uneven, the NHL and NHLPA thought it fair to let all teams play on the same field and give them a few extra days off during the Christmas break to hopefully recover. "Competitive equality" is a core belief of Commissioner Gary Bettman.

The break could have started even earlier, but there were only two games on Tuesday: the Capitals vs. the Flyers (announced as postponed later Tuesday afternoon) and the Lightning vs. the Golden Knights, the latter of which will be replaced on Tuesday based on test results. (The NHL has moved to daily testing this week.)

Over the next few days, the NHL and NHLPA have not scheduled any player travel restrictions for the Christmas break. However, they do recommend that players avoid eating in restaurants (unless they are private) and take appropriate precautions, such as wearing masks indoors and avoiding public transportation.

The games are due to resume on Monday.

There is no precise rule setting out the exact conditions for teams to continue, but certain patterns have emerged. Calgary, where 19 players and several staff members tested positive at the peak of the outbreak, reopened facilities this week for those who tested negative after the club failed to return positive tests for several days.

In order for teams to return to the ice, they must first get all issues related to COVID-19 under control. They must not actively spread the virus and must follow all NHL extended protocols and local health guidelines.

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