On Thursday, the NHL announced it would be postponing the 2021 Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend due to concerns with COVID-19.
The 2019-20 NHL regular season was paused on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resumed with a 24-team postseason in hub cities Edmonton and Toronto, beginning on Aug. 1 and concluding on Sep. 28 with the Tampa Bay Lightning hoisting their second Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which was set to feature the Minnesota Wild taking on the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., was originally scheduled for Jan. 1.
The Florida Panthers were slated to host the 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Jan. 29-30.
"Both events have been postponed due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus," The NHL's release read. "The League intends to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these signature events in the near future."
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” added NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended. We are also considering several new and creative events that will allow our fans to engage with our games and teams during this upcoming season.”
The league also clarified they are still targeting a Jan. 1 start date for the 2020-21 season.