To give the NHL enough time to analyze testing and assess teams’ ability to resume the season, the NHL has extended the season pause until Dec. 28. The extension means the NHL postponed the Pittsburgh Penguins game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Dec. 27.
However, teams may return to practice on Sunday, Dec. 26. The NHL will update its schedule by the end of the day on Sunday.
It’s a natural assumption more teams could experience an outbreak as the highly contagious Omnicron variant sweeps through the league. The NHL used the Calgary Flames outbreak, one of the first and most severe in the league, to inform them. According to the Flames GM Brad Treveling and their team doctor, Dr. Ian Auld, the NHL learned the variant could spread through on-ice contact–a significant change since previous variants were not believed to be spread on the ice.
The Penguins had practice scheduled in Boston on the 26th and another on the 28th in Toronto. The Penguins have a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on the 29th.
The Penguins did not immediately update their practice schedule. PHN will update the story as the Penguins update their schedule. The Pittsburgh Penguins schedule may include previously unscheduled practices at the UPMC Lemieux Complex, often open to the public.
The team is currently on a seven-game winning streak and occupies the first-wild card position. The Penguins moved to within four points of the Carolina Hurricanes, who lead the Metro Division.
The NHL Press Release:
NEW YORK (Dec. 24, 2021) – The National Hockey League announced today that its regular-season schedule would not resume prior to Tuesday, Dec. 28. 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 gameplay will be pushed back an additional day. 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 day on Sunday.