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NHL COVID news: Season continues, games moved, Olympic decision soon

nhl postpones

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 09: A view of the NHL crest on a net prior to the start of the first period between the Montreal Canadiens and the Los Angeles Kings at Centre Bell on November 9, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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In a Sunday press release, the NHL shared several important COVID-related updates. While the NHL regular season won’t go on a full pause, more games were postponed (all games with cross-border travel were moved through at least the holiday break of Dec. 23), and the league indicated a decision about participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics could come in a matter of days.

Update: the Detroit Red Wings’ games have been shut down through the holiday break (Dec. 23). Those postponements include Monday’s game (already postponed) against the Avalanche, and a Dec. 23 game vs. the Wild.

At this point, it looks like at least 40 NHL games (27 dates already passed; 13 still to come) will be postponed due to COVID, and that number could increase in little time.

It’s a lot to digest. Let’s break down the NHL COVID news into more manageable pieces. For the full list of NHL games postponed due to COVID, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

NHL regular season continues, but games with cross-border travel postponed

The NHL and NHLPA shed light on why the regular season will continue in a new reality of COVID variants such as omicron. Perhaps the key phrase is “case-by-case basis.”

Check out this portion of the NHL press release about COVID, the regular season, postponements, and Olympic participation.

Although there has been a recent increase in positive COVID test results among players, coaches and hockey staff, there have been a low number of positive cases that have resulted in concerning symptoms or serious illness. Therefore, the NHLPA’s and NHL’s medical experts have determined that, with virtually all Players and club hockey staff fully vaccinated, the need to temporarily shut down individual teams should continue to be made on a case-by-case basis.

That press release also clarified the cross-border NHL games that will be postponed through at least the Dec. 23 holiday break.

Monday, Dec. 20:

Montreal @ NY Islanders; Anaheim @ Edmonton

Tuesday, Dec. 21:

St. Louis @ Ottawa; Vancouver @ San Jose

Wednesday, Dec. 22:

Montreal @ NY Rangers; Winnipeg @ Dallas; Edmonton @ Los Angeles

Thursday, Dec. 23:

St. Louis @ Toronto; Carolina @ Ottawa; Montreal @ New Jersey; Anaheim @ Vancouver; Edmonton @ San Jose

Late on Sunday, the NHL announced that the Maple Leafs will pause team activities through Dec. 26.

NHL, NHLPA could make Olympic participation decision soon

That press release notes that the NHL and NHLPA are “actively discussing” whether players should participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. With that, they expect to possibly “announce a final determination in the coming days.”

Considering the context of COVID outbreaks and the framing in that release, that doesn’t sound promising. But we’ll see, and maybe find out soon enough.

(Most things in the NHL, and life, feel like they’re on a case-by-case basis lately, right?)

Full list of NHL games postponed due to COVID, with some new dates

Via the NHL, here is the full list of postponed games (COVID-related) this season:

MatchupOriginal DateNew Date
Ottawa at New JerseyNov. 16Dec. 6
Nashville at OttawaNov. 18TBA
NY Rangers at OttawaNov. 20TBA
NY Islanders at NY RangersNov. 28March 17
NY Islanders at PhiladelphiaNov. 30TBA
Calgary at ChicagoDec. 13TBA
Calgary at NashvilleDec. 14TBA
Carolina at MinnesotaDec. 14TBA
Toronto at CalgaryDec. 16TBA
Boston at MontrealDec. 18TBA
Florida at MinnesotaDec. 18TBA
Tampa Bay at ColoradoDec. 18TBA
Columbus at CalgaryDec. 18TBA
Toronto at VancouverDec. 18TBA
Boston at OttawaDec. 19TBA
Nashville at CarolinaDec. 19TBA
Arizona at VancouverDec. 19TBA
Toronto at SeattleDec. 19TBA
Colorado at DetroitDec. 20TBA
Montreal at NY IslandersDec. 20TBA
Anaheim at EdmontonDec. 20TBA
Carolina at BostonDec. 21TBA
St. Louis at OttawaDec. 21TBA
Florida at ChicagoDec. 21TBA
Winnipeg at NashvilleDec. 21TBA
Anaheim at CalgaryDec. 21TBA
Vancouver at San JoseDec. 21TBA
Colorado at BuffaloDec. 22TBA
Montreal at NY RangersDec. 22TBA
Winnipeg at DallasDec. 22TBA
Edmonton at Los AngelesDec. 22TBA
St. Louis at TorontoDec. 23TBA
Colorado at BostonDec. 23TBA
Carolina at OttawaDec. 23TBA
Nashville at FloridaDec. 23TBA
Montreal at New JerseyDec. 23TBA
Detroit at MinnesotaDec. 23TBA
Seattle at CalgaryDec. 23TBA
Anaheim at VancouverDec. 23TBA
Edmonton at San JoseDec. 23TBA

As you can see, most of those games need to be rescheduled.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.