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NHL to Shut Down Operations Temporarily Due to COVID

Frank Seravalli of DailyFaceoff reports that the NHL will close down this week.

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The NHL is suspending all operations between December 22nd and December 25th due to the outbreak of COVID-19 across North America. Team facilities are scheduled to re-open on December 26th. During the shutdown, no games or practices will take place.

The news of the shutdown was tweeted tonight by Frank Seravalli, writer at DailyFaceoff and president of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association.

Sources tell @DailyFaceoff: #NHL, #NHLPA have agreed to suspend all operations for Dec. 22-25 and will re-open team facilities on Dec. 26 no earlier than 2pm local time. No practice, no testing during those days.

Tuesday’s 2 remaining games will be played - pending test results.

COVID-19 is sweeping across the United States in its new, Omicron variant. The NBA is facing similar issues, magnified by the proximity to Christmas Day, traditionally the biggest day of the regular season, a key event for NBA viewers and sponsors. The league is scheduled to play five nationally-televised games on the 25th of December. Several of the teams slated to play have already lost significant portions of their roster to Health and Safety protocols, including the Brooklyn Nets and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.

The NBA shut down for several months during the 2019-20 campaign, then played a shortened, 72-game season in 2020-21. Five games have been postponed this week because the teams involved could not field a legal roster.