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NHL Today: League paused due to Covid outbreak, return Dec. 27

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Nhl paused covid
The Florida Panthers are scheduled to end their extended Christmas break Monday in Raleigh against the Hurricanes with their first home game set for Dec. 29 against the New York Rangers. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

The NHL has paused its season — however briefly — due to a Covid-19 outbreak throughout the league following the two games remaining on schedule for tonight.

The league had originally scheduled games through Wednesday night with teams breaking for Christmas.

As it currently stands, there will be two games tonight: Washington at Philadelphia (ESPN+) and Tampa Bay at Vegas.

Teams will not be returning for practice — all facilities will be closed — until Sunday afternoon with the game schedule resuming Monday.

Players and staff will have to test out to be able to return, so we are probably not done with players being added to the protocol list.

The Panthers are paused, but we’re not!

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The Panthers are scheduled to visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday at 7 p.m.

For now, anyway.

Florida, of course, was one of the first teams to have its games put on hold when the league paused the Panthers, Flames and Avalanche on Friday afternoon.

More teams and more games were postponed as the weekend wore on.

With so many games moved to the TBA stage, it appears likely NHL players will not be going to Beijing for the Winter Olympics and these games will be made up — or at least a large majority — in February.

The Panthers currently have three games which need to be made up: at Minnesota, at Chicago and against Nashville.

FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS

Chase Priskie had one heck of a week.

Not only did he cap four games (five when you count the one against the Kings) by being named the AHL Player of the Week — but he got married on Sunday.

Congrats to Chase! (FHN)

— The first round of voting for the NHL All-Star weekend came out and, as usual, the Panthers aren’t doing real well.

Remember that time Jaromir Jagr ran away with the Atlantic Division captaincy? Fun times. (FHN)

AROUND THE NHL

One casualty of the Covid postponements was the return of Mark Giordano making his return to Calgary with the Kraken.

It will have to come another day. (CalgaryHockeyNow)

— Speaking of All-Star voting, Alex Ovechkin is good. (WashingtonHockeyNow)

— Dylan Larkin, Vladimir Tarasenko and Nikolaj Ehlers were named the NHL’s three stars of the week. (TSN)

— Larkin is hot, but who is not for the Wings? (DetroitHockeyNow)

— The Hockey News looks at the Atlantic Division and where it stands right now. (THN)

— Here is another power ranking, this one from NBC. (NBCSports)

— The Avalanche still aren’t on a lot of televisions in the Denver area. (ColoradoHockeyNow)

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