The National Hockey League will pause its season on Wednesday, two days before its planned Christmas break, as the league tries to navigate through several COVID-19 cases, according to an official announcement issued on Monday.
Additionally, all NHL facilities will be closed from Wednesday through Saturday, and when players do end up reporting back to team facilities on Sunday, they will resume daily testing. NHL will resume it’s schedule on December 27th.
Tonight’s games between the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lighting and Vegas Golden Knights will be the final NHL games prior to the break. In total, 49 games have been postponed, including those impacted by the pause starting on Wednesday.
The NHL views it as material damage to their schedule, which would constitute as sufficient cause for the league to exercise its opt-out clause for player participation in the Beijing Olympics, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.