The NHL postponed three Ottawa Senators games Monday due to a team-related COVID-19 outbreak, the first time a North American major professional sports league has been hit by a rescheduling this fall due to the coronavirus.
Games scheduled for Tuesday in New Jersey, Thursday at home against Nashville and Saturday at home against the New York Rangers were postponed. Ten senatorial players are currently on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
While Ottawa played shorthanded in a 4-0 loss to Calgary on Sunday, the depth of the outbreak led to the decision to postpone games, which the league said had been taken in light of evidence of continued spread in recent days. The senators will be closed at least through Saturday and their training facilities will be closed to players as a precaution until then.
“The Senators Organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community at large, as established by the NHL, local, provincial and national authorities,” the league said in a statement. pronunciation.
CAPITAL LETTERS:Alex Ovechkin passes Brett Hull for fourth place in all-time NHL goals
Neither the NFL nor the NBA have had to postpone a game so far this fall. Major League Baseball had nine virus-related postponements of its 2,430 scheduled games, down from 45 from the abbreviated schedule of 900 games last year.
The NHL has postponed 51 games during its last regular season due to virus reasons.
The league and players’ association have until January 10 to withdraw from the 2022 Winter Olympics if pandemic conditions force the cancellation of so many games that a nearly three-week break in February is not feasible. The NHL was still looking at when the Senators’ games against the Devils, Predators and Rangers should be moved.
Ottawa canceled practice Monday to try to contain the outbreak after striker Drake Batherson became the most recent senatorial player to go into protocol. In addition to the 10 players, associate coach Jack Capuano is also in the protocol.
“The health and safety of the local community, site visitors and the organization’s staff and players is the top priority of Senators Sports & Entertainment,” the team said.
A handful of other NHL teams have been affected by COVID-19 this season, including Pittsburgh and San Jose. Penguins star Sidney Crosby returned on Sunday after an absence of more than 10 days due to the virus. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon also missed time last month after testing positive, although he was asymptomatic.