The NHL on Monday postponed two upcoming Dallas Stars games due to COVID-19-related precautions and unavailability of players.
A home-and-home series between Dallas and Colorado are the latest to be moved because of coronavirus concerns. Dallas was to play at Colorado Wednesday and against the Avalanche on New Year's Eve at the American Airlines Center.
Make-up dates for the games have not yet been organized.
The league also postponed Chicago's game at Winnipeg, which was scheduled for Wednesday.
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The setbacks bring the total number of NHL games postponed this season to 70.
On Monday morning, the Stars announced that they added forward Roope Hintz and defenseman Esa Lindell to COVID-19 protocols, meaning the club now has eight players and two staff members in protocol, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Dallas forwards Jason Robertson, Radek Faksa, Michael Raffl and Joel Kiviranta, and defensemen Miro Heiskanen were placed into COVID-19 protocol Sunday. Defensemen Jani Hakanpää landed there on Friday. It wasn't immediately known if the players were symptomatic.
The News reports that in the AHL, the Stars have 13 players and two staff members in protocol in Texas, according to Stars general manager Jim Nill. Of the 13 players, 11 are on NHL contracts: seven forwards and four defensemen.
Dallas is so far scheduled to play again Sunday in Arizona, which will leave a two-week gap between games played.
As of now, the Winter Classic between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild is still scheduled to be played at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday night in keeping with the league’s New Year’s Day tradition.
The league shut down for the annual Christmas break two days earlier than usual and extended it through Monday given the COVID-19 cases and spread of the delta and omicron variants.