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NHL Postpones 9 Games Because of Canadian Attendance Restrictions

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 29, 2021

WINNIPEG, MB - FEBRUARY 13: A view of the NHL logo on the back of the net during the second intermission between the Ottawa Senators and the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on February 13, 2021 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL announced that nine games previously scheduled from Dec. 31-Jan. 10 which were slated to take place in Canadian cities have been postponed because of attendance restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list of games is as follows:

     

Friday, Dec. 31

Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators

Winnipeg Jets at Calgary Flames

    

Monday, Jan. 3

Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs

    

Tuesday, Jan. 4

Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens

   

Thursday, Jan. 6

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens

    

Saturday, Jan. 8

Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens

Seattle Kraken at Winnipeg Jets

   

Monday, Jan. 10

Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens

Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets

    

The league stated that it plans to reschedule those games for dates when the restrictions can be "eased or lifted."

No makeup dates have been established for any of these games as of now. In addition, the Jan. 12 Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens game will be moved to Boston.

Also, the Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders game on Dec. 29 has been postponed because of COVID-19 concerns on both rosters.

Per the Associated Press, 80 NHL games have now been postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens game on Dec. 16 was played in Montreal's Bell Centre without any fans.

As Sportsnet noted, local Canadian governments have placed limits on attendance amid the ongoing COVID-19 surge. Delaying the games gives the league a chance to recoup more ticket revenue if and when restrictions are lifted.

The province of Quebec announced on Dec. 20 that no fans would be allowed to attend sporting events because the COVID-19 spike, which affected the Canadiens.

Ontario previously announced a 50 percent capacity limit, affecting the Toronto Maple Leaf and Ottawa Senators.

Manitoba barred fans until Jan. 11, affecting the Winnipeg Jets. Alberta (Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames) previously announced restrictions lifted arenas to 50 percent. The same goes for British Columbia (Vancouver Canucks).