NHL postpones 14 games; won’t resume play until Tuesday

Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs’ William Nylander is congratulated for his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

The NHL pushed back its return from an already extended holiday break an extra day by postponing its entire 14-game Monday schedule for COVID-19 testing reasons.

The league said Friday it now plans to resume play Tuesday in a decision that increases the total of postponed games to 64 this season.

Teams are still scheduled to resume practicing Sunday, but won’t be allowed to take the ice until players, coaches and traveling officials are cleared following a round of COVID-19 tests. The decision to delay the resumption of play will allow what the NHL called “an adequate opportunity to analyze league-wide testing results and to assess clubs’ readiness to play.”

The NHL said it will provide further updates on its return to play plans Sunday.

The move comes after the NHL opened its annual holiday break on Wednesday, two days earlier than scheduled, because of a significant jump in players landing in the league’s COVID-19 protocols, and with 10 teams’ schedules paused.

The sudden rash of postponed games also led the NHL to exercise its right to withdraw from participating in the Winter Olympics in February. The league will instead use its previously scheduled Olympic break, which runs from Feb. 6-22, to make up its postponed games in order to complete an 82-game season.

Toronto forward William Nylander entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols Friday, giving the Maple Leafs 13 players on the list. Maple Leafs captain John Tavares, defenseman Morgan Rielly and goaltender Jack Campbell also are in the protocols along with coach Sheldon Keefe, two assistants and four other members of the organization.

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Date Opponent Time TV
9/9 @Central Connecticut 6:30pm FS1%
9/13 @ Coppin State Noon FS2
9/17 @ Long Island 6:30pm FS2
9/20 @ Binghamton non FS2
9/24 vs. Auburn 2:30pm ESPN
9/25 vs. Michigan State/Loyola-Chicago TBD ESPN/ ESPN2
9/26 vs. TBD TBD TBD
9/30 @ Maryland-Eastern Shore 7:00pm CBS SN
12/4 @ Grambling State 4:00pm FS2
12/8 @West Virginia TBD TBD
12/11 vs. St. Bonaventure 3:30pm ESPN2
12/18 @ Providence 5:00pm FOX
12/21 @ Marquette 9:00pm FS1
12/28 @ Xavier 7:00pm FS1
1/1 vs. Butler 4:00pm FS1
1/8 @ Seton Hall Noon FOX
1/12 vs. St. John’s 8:30pm FS1
1/15 @ Providence 2:00pm FS1
1/20 @ Butler 9:00pm FS1
1/25 @ Georgetown 8:30pm CBS SN
1/29 @ DePaul 6:30pm FS1
2/1 vs. Creighton 6:30pm FS1
2/5 @ Villanova Noon FOX
2/8 vs. Marquette 6:30pm FS1
2/13 @ St. John’s Noon FOX
2/16 vs. Seton Hall 8:30pm CBS SN
2/19 vs. Xavier noon FOX
2/22 vs. Villanova 8:00pm FS1
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3/2 @ Creighton 8:30pm FS1
3/5 vs. DePaul TBD TBD

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