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NHL suspends operations Dec 22-27, pulls out of 2022 Winter Olympics participation

COVID-19 has hit the NHL hard. It is impacting the regular season and could impact the Beijing Olympics.

A general view of Scotiabank Arena with the Saturday Night logo visible in the scoreboard befre a game between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Friday update: The NHL has suspended play through Monday, December 27. The initial shutdown was to last through Christmas Day, but the league will extend it and not play games Monday.

Tuesday update: The NHL and NHLPA have decided to pull out of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, per the Toronto Star.

Monday update: The NHL and NHLPA are suspending operations from December 22-25, per a report. There will be no practice or COVID-19 testing during those days.

The NHL is dealing with numerous COVID-19 outbreaks, and it is impacting the regular season schedule and now potentially the Olympics schedule. The league announced on Sunday it is suspended games involving cross-border travel between the United States and Canada until after the Christmas break. This comes after the league had already postponed 27 games due to outbreaks.

Additionally, NHL player participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is in “serious jeopardy,” according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. The league was going to take a three-week break in February to allow for Olympic play, but COVID-19 could change that. The league has until January 10th to opt out of the Beijing games without incurring a financial penalty.

Heading into Christmas week, Calgary, Colorado, Florida, Boston, Nashville and Detroit have all had their seasons postponed through the league’s holiday break. The league announced it is reviewing the regular season schedule to figure out potential revisions heading into 2022.