NHL's postponement of games extended through Dec. 27

The NHL is extending its postponement of games as part of its pandemic response, announcing Friday that play has been paused through Dec. 27.

League to have update on return to play by end of Sunday

The NHL has postponed play until Dec. 27, as it responds to concerns over COVID-19. Teams are still set to resume practice on Dec. 26. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The latest sports news:

  • NHL opts to postpone all games on Dec. 27
  • Leafs' William Nylander enters protocol
  • Everton-Burnley postponed

The NHL is extending its postponement of games as part of its pandemic response, announcing Friday that play has been paused through Dec. 27.

On Monday, the league, working with the National Hockey League Players' Association, decided to pause all activities in an attempt to avoid a league-wide shutdown, after a number of teams were sidelined by a rise in positive COVID-19 cases.

Initially, games were postponed through Christmas Day, so the NHL had a chance to analyze testing results across the league and see teams' readiness to resume play.

Teams are still set to resume practice on Dec. 26, with the target date for resumption of game play pushed back an additional day. 

The NHL plans to have another update on its plans to return to play by the end of Sunday.

Nylander 13th Maple Leaf to enter protocol

In other news, Toronto forward William Nylander has entered the NHL's COVID-19 protocol. The Maple Leafs now have 13 players sidelined due to novel coronavirus concerns.

Nylander joins a growing list of Leafs in the league's protocol. They include captain John Tavares, defenceman Morgan Rielly and goaltender Jack Campbell.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe, two assistants and four other members of the organization are also in the protocol.

The NHL shut down for its annual Christmas break 48 hours early after Tuesday night's lone remaining game.

Four contests originally scheduled for Wednesday and 15 for Thursday are among the 45 postponed since Dec. 13.

WATCH | What Canada's Olympic hockey roster could look like without NHLers: 

Who will Hockey Canada send to the Beijing Olympics?

5 months ago
Duration 3:25
With the NHL confirming they will not participate in the 2022 Olympics, Rob Pizzo of CBC Sports looks at who Hockey Canada could send to represent Team Canada's Men's Hockey Team.

Everton-Burnley called off

In soccer news, a coronavirus outbreak at Everton has forced the postponement of the club's match at Burnley, the Premier League said on Friday.

It's the third match of the Boxing Day lineup to be postponed as part of a Sunday program that still features six games. Defending champion and league leader Manchester City hosts 2016 winner Leicester among the six games scheduled to go ahead Sunday.

The Premier League has now called off 13 matches because of coronavirus issues in two weeks, with players having to isolate after testing positive or if they are unvaccinated and a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

Everton had asked for the postponement, citing virus cases and injuries, and the league's board "regrettably approved" the request.

"The board reviewed the club's request today to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad. They concluded that the club will not be able to fulfil their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to COVD-19 cases and injuries," the league said in a statement.

On Thursday, coronavirus outbreaks at Leeds and Watford forced postponements of their Sunday matches. Leeds was scheduled to travel to Liverpool and Watford was set to play at Wolverhampton.

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?