The National Hockey League announced on Friday that a return to its regular season schedule, out of the holiday break, will be delayed until Dec. 28.
The break was originally scheduled from Dec. 24-26 and a total of 14 games on Dec. 27 were postponed as a result of the announcement. The NHL last had game action on Tuesday, Dec. 21 – a 4-3 win for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Vegas Golden Knights. That day, all but one game was postponed due to COVID-19 protocol cases.Teams across the NHL have seen 64 games now postponed.
The NHL originally scheduled Dec. 27 for the first available date to play games, coming out of the holiday break. The Kraken were scheduled to visit the Vancouver Canucks next Monday, one of the 14 games postponed.
“The League had planned to resume its schedule on Dec. 27, but in order to allow the League an adequate opportunity to analyze League-wide testing results and to assess Clubs’ readiness to play, the target date for resumption of game play will be pushed back an additional day,” the NHL said in a statement.
The Kraken are now scheduled to next play on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at Climate Pledge Arena against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers at 7pm. It would end a ten-day break in between games. The Kraken last played on Saturday, Dec. 18 in a 5-3 home loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
The Kraken entered the holiday break with three players on their COVID-19 protocol list: defensemen Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, and Carson Soucy. Their final three games before the holiday break were postponed: Dec. 20 vs. Toronto, Dec. 22 vs. Arizona, and Dec. 23 at Calgary.
The NHL has said all postponed games will be rescheduled at later dates, to be determined, and the Kraken announced tickets for the two postponed home games against Toronto and Arizona would be valid on new dates for rescheduled home games.
On Wednesday, the league announced its players would not be competing in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, with an originally scheduled break from Feb. 6-22 now being utilized to reschedule postponed games.
The NHL said teams will return to practice on Dec. 26, and “it is expected that the League will provide an update on its return to play plans by the end of the day on Sunday.”