The National Hockey League is in the midst of its annual holiday break in the schedule, but teams will have to wait at least one more day to get back onto the ice as the league announced that it has extended the break for an additional day, postponing 14 games that had been set for Monday.
The holiday break, which traditionally stretches from Christmas Eve through Boxing Day, began a day earlier than usual this season because of numerous COVID outbreaks among NHL clubs.
Friday’s announcement means that the 28 teams that were set to return to action on Monday will have to wait an additional day. The Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers were the only four teams not scheduled to play games on Monday.
“The league had planned to resume its schedule on Dec. 27, but in order to allow the league an adequate opportunity to analyze league-wide testing results and to assess clubs’ readiness to play, the target date for resumption of game play will be pushed back an additional day,” the league said in a press release.
Teams are expected to return to practice on Sunday, and all players and coaches will be tested upon their return to facilities.
The league says it will provide updates on its return-to-play plans by the end of the weekend.
COVID cases have caused dozens of games to be postponed, with the league announcing this week that it will make up games during what was originally supposed to be the Olympic break in February. The NHL announced that it will not release its players to participate in the Olympics in Beijing in February, marking the second-consecutive Olympics that the NHL has not participated in.