The NHL announced Dec. 20 that the 2021 regular season was a go and would begin Jan. 13.
The schedule, a 56-game condensed sprint to the Stanley Cup playoffs, was devised with the expectation that some games would have to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun: “The key word this season is ‘nimble.'” The rise in cases in the United States and Canada was expected, unfortunately, to impact games.
As mentioned before, the key word this season is `nimble.’ My guess is the schedule is going to change many times for several teams throughout the season in all likelihood because of positive tests. Get used to this. https://t.co/T3GklgInCk
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 8, 2021
On Jan. 8, that expectation came to fruition after the Stars announced six players and two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. The team shut down its training facility as a precaution, and because the news came six days before the start of Dallas’ season, its first three games were postponed.
Also on Jan. 8, the Blue Jackets announced the same day that they “held a number of players out of” the team’s practice that day “out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with NHL COVID-19 protocols.” The team has not yet postponed any games.
NHL games impacted by COVID-19
|Date of game ppd.||Game||Reschedule date|
|Thu., Jan. 14||Stars at Panthers||Mon., Feb. 22|
|Fri., Jan. 15||Stars at Panthers||Mon., May 3|
|Sun., Jan. 17||Stars at Lightning||Tues., May 4|
|Tues., Jan. 19||Stars at Lightning||Mon., May 10|
|Tues., Jan. 19||Hurricanes at Predators*|
|Thurs., Jan. 21||Panthers at Hurricanes|
|Sat., Jan. 23||Panthers at Hurricanes|
*Hurricanes at Predators is the first NHL game to be postponed on the day of.