Insiders, some news from a leaguewide perspective that does not impact tonight’s game in Washington, but will impact was what the final scheduled Kings home game before the holiday break.
The Kings and Oilers game, scheduled for STAPLES Center on Wednesday, December 22 has been postponed, along with 11 other games around the NHL. All games postponed were games scheduled between a team based in the United States and a team based in Canada, due to “concern about cross-border travel” and the “fluid nature of federal travel restrictions”. All games cancelled fell between 12/20 and 12/23, the start of the league’s holiday break.
The game between the Kings and Golden Knights, scheduled for December 23 in Vegas, is still on as scheduled.
Regarding the NHL and NHLPA deciding to continue the 2021-22 regular season –
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.
Regarding a decision on NHL players playing in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing –
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.
Kings and Capitals are still a go, around 90 minutes from now. Game Thread to follow!