NHL and NHLPA release a statement
NHLPA: The NHL and NHLPA released a joint statement after consulting with medical experts. Part of the statement is highlighted below.
“i) We will continue to play the 2021-22 regular-season schedule. 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.
ii) Due to the concern about cross-border travel and, given the fluid nature of federal travel restrictions, effective on Monday, all games involving a Canadian-based team playing a U.S.-based team from Monday, Dec. 20 through the start of the Holiday break on Dec. 23, will be postponed and rescheduled.
iii) Given the disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule caused by recent COVID-related events 27 games had been postponed as of Saturday and at least 12 more will be postponed through Dec. 23 and the continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID pandemic, the NHL and NHLPA are actively discussing the matter of NHL Player participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, and expect to be in a position to announce a final determination in the coming days.”
Pulling out of the Olympics seems inevitable
Pierre LeBrun: Get the sense that NHL players are not going to the Olympics, though nothing has been made official yet. Hard to see with all the games that have now been postponed.
Elliotte Friedman: Sense that the NHL and NHLPA will agree that they are not going to the Olympics.
Canada out of the Spengler Cup
Michael Farber: Team Canada won’t be going to the Spengler Cup as they’ve pulled out.
Only test the symptomatic?
Mark Maske: The NFL and NFLPA are looking at adding protocols that vaccinated players are only tested if they are showing symptoms according to sources. Unvaccinated players would be tested daily.
Greg Wyshynski: Would expect that some NHL players could be thinking the same, “only test the symptomatic.” Could see that talk increasing.