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NHL postpones Avalanche, Flames, Panthers games through holiday break

NHL postpones Avalanche, Flames, Panthers games through holiday break

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 23: The NHL crest is seen on a referees uniform during the first period between the Montreal Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings at Centre Bell on October 23, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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Due to rising COVID-19 numbers the NHL has postponed Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, and Florida Panthers games through next week’s holiday break.

(The NHL’s break is from Dec. 24 - 26.)

Consider this post a running tally of Friday’s NHL COVID news. There could be more announcements and/or reports.

Avalanche games postponed through holiday break (Dec. 26)

On Thursday, the Avalanche were limited to 11 forwards, five defensemen, and one NHL-ready goalie in a loss to the Predators (who have plenty of players and front office members in COVID-19 protocol, too). Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Avalanche playing on Thursday came down to a team vote.

The NHL confirmed that the following Avalanche games have been postponed.

Dec. 18 vs. Tampa Bay; Dec. 20 @ Detroit; Dec. 22 @ Buffalo; Dec. 23 @ Boston.

Right now, the Avalanche’s next scheduled game is against the Golden Knights in Vegas on Monday, Dec. 27. You can find the Avalanche’s list of players in NHL COVID protocol at the bottom of this post.

More Flames games postponed

Via the NHL, this is the updated list of Flames games postponed due to COVID-19.

Dec. 13 @ Chicago; Dec. 14 @ Nashville; Dec. 16 vs. Toronto; Dec. 18 vs. Columbus; Dec. 21 vs. Anaheim; Dec. 23 vs. Seattle.

Clearly, some of those dates already passed. As of this writing, the Flames’ next scheduled game is a home contest vs. the Oilers on Monday, Dec. 27. Naturally, that could change, too.

On Friday, the Flames added Mikael Backlund and a staff member to the NHL COVID-19 protocol list. There are now 19 Flames players in COVID-19 protocol; scroll to the bottom of this post for the full list.

Panthers games postponed through holiday break (Dec. 26)

Rounding out the three biggest sets of COVID-19-related NHL postponements (but not the only Friday announcements), the Florida Panthers experienced similar scheduling changes. Here are the official game postponements, via the NHL.

Dec. 18 @ Minnesota; Dec. 21 @ Chicago; Dec. 23 vs. Nashville.

Like the Flames and Avalanche, the Panthers’ next scheduled game -- at the moment -- is on Monday, Dec. 27. If that holds, the Panthers would face the Hurricanes in Carolina.

Scroll down for the full list of Panthers in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

Bruins - Canadiens also postponed due to NHL COVID-19 protocol

Earlier on Friday, the NHL announced that Saturday’s Bruins - Canadiens game in Montreal was postponed. At least six Bruins players are on the NHL COVID protocol list.

Jeremy Swayman, Anton Blidh and Trent Frederic entered Thursday, after Patrice Bergeron (Wednesday), along with Craig Smith and Brad Marchand (both on Tuesday). A staff member is also in protocol.

Other NHL COVID-19 news and notes

In other Friday NHL COVID-19 news, the Maple Leafs canceled practice, while John Tavares and Alex Kerfoot entered protocol.

At this point, it might be easiest to go team by team and name players in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

Arizona Coyotes

Lawson Crouse, Jay Beagle.

Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand, Craig Smith, Patrice Bergeron, Jeremy Swayman, Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh, Oskar Steen, plus a staff member.

Calgary Flames

The NHL postponed postponed at least three Flames games (through Dec. 18). Considering how many Flames either are or were in NHL COVID protocol, there could be more.


Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson, Adam Ruzicka, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, Milan Lucic, Sean Monahan, Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, Byron Froese, Johnny Gaudreau, Erik Gudbranson, Trevor Lewis, Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Pitlick, Dillon Dube, Oliver Kylington, Mikael Backlund.


Darryl Sutter (head coach), Kirk Muller (associate coach), Ryan Huska (assistant coach), 10 staff members in protocol.

Carolina Hurricanes

Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis, Jordan Staal, Andrei Svechnikov, Ian Cole, Steven Lorentz.

Colorado Avalanche

Devon Toews, J.T. Compher, Andre Burakovsky, Cale Makar, Darcy Kuemper.

Detroit Red Wings

Robby Fabbri, Michael Rasmussen.

Edmonton Oilers

Ryan McLeod, Devin Shore, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (added Friday), Duncan Keith

Also head coach Dave Tippett.

Florida Panthers

Sam Bennett, Radko Gudas, Ryan Lomberg, Brandon Montour, Carter Verhaeghe, Aaron Ekblad, Frank Vatrano.

Nashville Predators


Ryan Johansen, Mikael Granlund, Matt Luff, Michael McCarron, Philip Tomasino, Ben Harpur, Nick Cousins, Mark Borowiecki


John Hynes (head coach), Dan Lambert (assistant coach), Todd Richards (assistant coach), Ben Vanderklok (goalie coach), Dan Hinote (assistant coach).

New Jersey Devils

Nico Hischier, Ryan Graves, Jesper Boqvist, possibly P.K. Subban.

New York Islanders

Mathew Barzal.

Philadelphia Flyers

Morgan Frost.

Seattle Kraken

Colin Blackwell, Yanni Gourde, Riley Sheahan, assistant coach Jay Leach.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Alexander Kerfoot, John Tavares, Jason Spezza, Wayne Simmonds

Vancouver Canucks

Luke Schenn, Juho Lammikko, Brad Hunt, Tucker Poolman, assistant coach Jason King.

Washington Capitals

Garnet Hathaway, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom (added on Friday).

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