The 2021-22 NHL season was supposed to be a return to normal, but with COVID-19 cases increasing within the league decided to pause the season until after Christmas.
The decision was the result of an agreement between the NHL and NHLPA.
And consequently, NHL goes on a Christmas break from Wednesday, Dec. 22 through Saturday, Dec. 25.
Due to prior postponements, this new update affects a total of five games, all scheduled for Thursday: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals at New York Islanders, Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning at Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights.
As of now, only two more games will take place before the break: Capitals at Flyers on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET and Lightning at Golden Knights on Tuesday at 10 p.m.
When is the next Blackhawks game?
So when with the Chicago Blackhawks play again?
As it stands now, the next Blackhawks game is on Tuesday, Dec. 28 when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to town. The Blackhawks are scheduled to play the Winnipeg Jets the following night, but given the NHL's prior decision to suspend cross-border games before pausing the season, that trip could be in jeopardy.
What Blackhawks game have been postponed?
Because of the Calgary Flames' increasing COVID-19 positives and the Canadian border, their Dec. 21 game was suspended. The Blackhawks' game against the Florida Panthers on Nov. 21 and against the Dallas Stars on Dec. 23 have both been suspended.
What does NHL pausing the season mean for team?
All team facilities and operations will be shut down until Dec. 26. Players will return a day earlier than originally slated from the holiday break to resume COVID testing, and all members of a team's traveling party will need to test negative to enter their team facility.
The NHL recently implemented enhanced COVID protocols, which include restrictions on indoor dining for teams on the road, wearing masks and social distancing in team facilities and testing on non-off days, until at least Jan 7 to try to combat the surge in cases.
With the rising cases and an increasing number of postponements, the NHL’s participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is in jeopardy. The league said a decision on participation at the Games would be coming this week.
When will the NHL season resume?
The season will resume on Monday, Dec. 27.