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NHL postpones Panthers games for a week amid COVID surge – NBC 6 South Florida

The NHL announced Friday that it has postponed all games for the Florida Panthers for at least next weekend amid worsening COVID-19 test results across the league.

The federation cited “concern with the number of positive cases within the past two days as well as concern about COVID continuing to spread in the coming days.” The Panthers, as well as the Colorado Avalanche, will be shutting down at least next weekend. Difficult -hit Calgary Flames will remain shut down at least through December 23.

The training facilities of all three teams were closed. In total, Calgary has had six games postponed, the Avalanche four and the Panthers three.

The move was announced hours after Saturday’s game in Montreal between the Canadians and Boston was postponed. There was no word from the league about the Bruins’ game on Sunday in Ottawa, which like Toronto and other Ontario cities are capping venue capacity at 50%.

The Canadians beat Philadelphia on Thursday night in a nearly empty Bell Center because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Quebec public health officials have asked Canadians earlier in the game day without fans at their home ground to help slow the spread of the virus.

The Bruins are without seven players because of COVID-19 protocol – which includes stars Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron – for Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders. They play a formation with 11 strikers and 6 defenders.

The rise of COVID-19 cases around the NHL could affect the federation’s plans to allow its players to participate in the Winter Olympics in China in February.

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports/florida-panthers/nhl-postponing-panthers-games-for-a-week-amid-covid-surge/2644115/ NHL postpones Panthers games for a week amid COVID surge – NBC 6 South Florida

JOE HERNANDEZ

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