Everyone knew the NHL wouldn’t be immune to COVID-induced interruptions to the season but did we imagine that games would be postponed before the season even began?
On Friday, the NHL announced that six Dallas Stars players and two staff members have recently confirmed positive tests for COVID and that the start of the Stars’ season and subsequently the Florida Panthers’ as well, would be postponed. The Stars and Panthers were set to open their respective seasons with a two-game set in Dallas on January 14 and 15.
Here’s the official announcement from the league:
The National Hockey League announced today that six Dallas Stars players and two staff members have recently confirmed positive tests for the COVID-19 virus. Those individuals are self-isolating and following CDC and League protocols. As a result of the positive tests, and as an appropriate precaution, the team’s training facilities have been closed, effective immediately, and will remain closed for several days while further daily testing and contact tracing is conducted. The League is in the process of reviewing and revising the Stars’ regular season schedule with the expectation that the team will not open its 2020-21 season earlier than Tuesday, January 19.
The Stars organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff, and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state, and national agencies.
The Stars and Panthers weren’t the only teams affected by COVID on Friday as the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that 16 players, including captain Nick Foligno and star defenseman Seth Jones were held out of practice due to COVID Precaution.
#CBJ missing from skate today:
F Emil Bemstrom, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Max Domi, Nick Foligno, Nathan Gerbe, Liam Foudy, Mikhail Grigorenko, Boone Jenner, Mikko Koivu, Eric Robinson, Alexandre Texier.
D Vladislav Gavrikov, Seth Jones, David Savard, Andrew Peeke, Michael Del Zotto.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 8, 2021
OK, enough depressing COVID news. Now on to your Boston Hockey Now Puck Links!
I was lucky enough to be mentored by the likes of the late Hockey Hall of Fame puck scribe Russ Conway. Even rinkside conversations with current colleagues like Mick Colageo and Kevin Paul Dupont, another hall of famer, and the recently retired Mike Loftus have helped shape the reporter I am. Watching them cover the team and interact with the players helped teach me how to be a pro. However, whenever I shared a scrum with them or watched them talk to a player like Bobby Orr or Ray Bourque or Cam Neely, you could just see that extra respect and regard they held for those Boston Bruins legends. Patrice Bergeron is that player for myself and my generation of reporters covering the B’s. That’s why this was an honor and a pleasure to write! (Boston Hockey Now)
Who would look forward to playing against Zdeno Chara? Well, not Max Pacioretty or Cedric Paquette, but David Krejci does! My partner in crime Joe Haggerty has more! (Boston Hockey Now)
Boston Bruins legend and hall of fame defenseman Bobby Orr lost plenty of fans and supporters when he decided to publicly back Donald Trump for another term before the November 6 Presidential Election. As friend and one of the best in the biz, Ken Campbell stated in a column after Trump incited and allowed a terrorist attack by his supporters to take place on the Capitol Wednesday, Orr has a chance at redemption if he denounces Trump for his role in a day that will go down in infamy. I agree. Man up No. 4 and do the right thing! (Hockey News)
The lads on TSN Insider Trading have the latest on the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade request and when the Blue Jackets star forward might get dealt. (TSN)
Finally, today marks what would’ve been the 86th birthday of Elvis Presley. So for Murph’s Music Pick Of The Day, one of my favorite tracks by ‘The King’!