NHL stops cross-border gaming, shuts down 7th NHL team

NEW YORK -- The NHL and its Players Association temporarily clamped down against teams crossing the Canadian border. They also shut down two additional teams on Sunday to make seven teams in an effort to save the season from COVID-19 epidemics.

NHL stops cross-border gaming, shuts down 7th NHL team

The Detroit Red Wings as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs were included in the list of teams that were told to close down operations. They join the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators, and the Boston Bruins.

Canadian-based teams won't play U.S. teams between Monday and Thursday due to the holiday break of the league (Dec. 24-26). These games that were postponed are likely to be rescheduled.

According to the league, the decision was made partly because of the "fluid nature" of federal travel restrictions.

The NHLPA and NHLPA announced Sunday that they will continue to play the regular season 2021-22 schedule. "Despite a recent rise in positive COVID tests among hockey players, coaches, and staff, there has not been any significant increase in cases that resulted in serious symptoms or concern.

Overall, 27 games were postponed through Saturday. Twelve more will be moved to Thursday. As of Saturday, roughly 10% of the 700+ players had been in league's virus protocol.

The Los Angeles Kings were scheduled to host the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night, but that has been postponed. Todd McLellan, Kings coach, said that it was "a very difficult time right now for both the players and those who are involved with the game."

"What is strange about us... is that players who are feeling fine are being removed from the game. Our team has a little bit of the flu, cough and other winter ailments. He said that he understood the protocols and agreed with his teammates. "I understand the health directives and believe that we are in good hands.

McLellan said that this is a difficult time of year, because there are little ones at home with their wives. Family becomes really, really important. We'll have a lot of happy players that get on that plane. The ones we have to leave behind, they're going home. We will find a way.

After three games that involved Canadian teams were already postponed, the Winnipeg Jets hosted and beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2.

"I think that the most important thing is when you win hockey games you want to play next day," Jets interim coach Dave Lowry stated. This will keep us out of the game for a few days. It will let us get back to work on details that we want to improve upon.

Mark Scheifele, Jets' center, said that the team was informed of the postponements only moments after the game.

He said, "You don't know what the future holds." "You could see it coming, but we weren't sure. So obviously, we know now, and we are waiting to see how all unfolds. We'll roll with the punches."

The disruptions to COVID-19 could cause NHL players to stay home and not be able to participate in the Winter Olympics for less than two months. Unless the coronavirus is a problem, players will be able to compete in Beijing.

The league has until January 10th to withdraw from the Winter Games. However, it can still cancel its plans until the time that players travel to Beijing. The NHLPA and NHL will make a decision within the next few days.

Scheifele called uncertainty "concerning."

"It's not in their hands anymore, you understand what I mean?" He said, "You just need to trust in the plan. Keep doing what you're doing...and hoping for the best."

The Avs' COVID Pause caused Detroit to postpone Monday's home match against Colorado. On Thursday, the Red Wings' game in Minnesota was canceled. The Maple Leafs only had one game before the holiday break. However, the cross-border decision already delayed it.

The NHLPA and NHLPA have agreed to daily testing through January 1, and other enhanced protocols until Jan. 7, in order to slow the spread. An evaluation will be done no later than January 7. ___

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