The NHL announced Thursday that it has postponed its two major January events because of the "ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus."
The Winter Classic, which was scheduled for New Year's Day in Minneapolis, and the All-Star Weekend, which would have taken place Jan. 29-30 at the Florida Panthers' BB&T Center, have been moved to 2022.
NHL senior executive vice president and chief content officer Steve Mayer explained the decision:
"Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended."
Mayer also said the league is "considering" new events "that will allow our fans to engage with our games and teams during this upcoming season."
According to The Athletic's Michael Russo, the Florida Panthers may have to postpone the All-Star Weekend festivities even further because of a potential conflict with the Winter Olympics in 2022.
While key events have been delayed, the league has yet to announce the structure for the 2020-21 NHL season but is targeting a start date on or around Jan. 1.