Report: NHL postpones Rangers and Canadiens game this week, opt to keep playing

rangers canadiens
Nov 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Ryan Reaves (75) and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot (8) collide during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL and NHLPA have decided to keep playing despite the recent spike in COVID cases. However, concern over border travel has postponed several games including Wednesday’s matchup at MSG between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens.

NHL and NHLPA opt to keep playing

Per the NHL release:

Following several days of meetings with their respective medical experts amid increasing positive test results and rising numbers of postponed games, the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today jointly announced the following:

i) We will continue to play the 2021-22 regular-season schedule. Although there has been a recent increase in positive COVID test results among Players, coaches and hockey staff, there have been a low number of positive cases that have resulted in concerning symptoms or serious illness. Therefore, the NHLPA’s and NHL’s medical experts have determined that, with virtually all Players and Club hockey staff fully vaccinated, the need to temporarily shut down individual teams should continue to be made on a case-by-case basis. The effects of recently introduced enhanced prevention and detection measures will be evaluated daily. The NHL and NHLPA, along with their medical experts, will be monitoring not only the number and pattern of positive COVID results, but also the depth of Club line-ups so as to ensure both the health and safety of the Players and the integrity of League competition.

ii) Due to the concern about cross-border travel and, given the fluid nature of federal travel restrictions, effective on Monday, all games involving a Canadian-based team playing a U.S.-based team from Monday, Dec. 20 through the start of the Holiday break on Dec. 23, will be postponed and rescheduled.

iii) Given the disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule caused by recent COVID-related events – 27 games had been postponed as of Saturday and at least 12 more will be postponed through Dec. 23 – and the continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID pandemic, the NHL and NHLPA are actively discussing the matter of NHL Player participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, and expect to be in a position to announce a final determination in the coming days.

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Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gestures to the crowd as he speaks before the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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