OTTAWA – Last Monday, the NHL suspended three Ottawa Senators games because of a COVID outbreak within the team.
This suspension was a first among major professional sports leagues when a league needed to suspend games because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the team. NHL suspended Ottawa’s games against New Jersey, Nashville, and the New York Rangers.
Currently, the NHL placed the Ottawa senators under strict NHL COVID-19 protocol to prevent the virus from spreading to other people. This protocol also entails closing training facilities as a precautionary measure.
This suspension happened after a shorthanded loss against Calgary, which the league saw subtle signs of the spread of the virus within the team.
Ottawa immediately canceled practice last Monday when forward Drake Batherson needed to follow NHL COVID-19 protocols. Associate coach Jack Capuano also needed to follow COVID-19 protocols amid potential contamination.
The NHL released a statement expressing the Senators’ compliance with all recommended guidelines “aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community.”
Only NHL and Major League Basketball needed to suspend their games last year among the major sports leagues. For Major League Basketball, it suspended over 2,430 scheduled games in the league’s 900-game schedule. On the other hand, the NHL postponed 51 games last season.
Furthermore, the NHL must decide when to reschedule the Senators’ game against the Devils, Predators, and Rangers.
The league also has until January 10, 2022, to withdraw from the 2022 Winter Olympics if the cases worsen.