NHL postpones more games due to COVID-19 outbreaks

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ COVID-19 outbreak continued to worsen on Saturday, as goaltender Jack Campbell, defensemen TJ Brodie and Travis Dermott, head coach Sheldon Keefe and assistant coach Spencer Carbery were place in COVID-19 protocol.

Earlier in the day, the NHL postponed Toronto’s road games against the Vancouver Canucks and the Seattle Kraken.

The outbreak involves seven players. Forwards Alexander Kerfoot, Wayne Simmonds, Jason Spezza and John Tavares were placed in the protocol on Friday.

The Maple Leafs also had their game against Calgary postponed on Thursday due to the Flames’ COVID-19 issues.

“I think everyone’s a little on edge and unsure of what’s happening,” Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas said on a conference call on Saturday.

Toronto is slated to play next Thursday when it hosts the St. Louis Blues.

Heightened COVID-19 concerns also led the league to shut down the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators through Dec. 26.

A league statement said the decision was made due to the “rising number of positive cases as well as the potential for continued COVID spread in the coming days.”

Four Bruins games and three Predators contests have been postponed.

“The decision was made by the NHL’s, the NHLPA’s and the Clubs’ medical groups,” the league said in a statement. “The League is in the process of reviewing and revising its regular season schedule.”

The disruptions to the schedule have cast further doubt on whether the NHL will send its top players to Beijing for the Winter Olympics in February.

The NHL agreed to a break in its schedule to allow players to compete with the caveat that it could withdraw on its own if an abundance of COVID-19 disruptions forced games to be rescheduled during the Olympic window.

The NHL has until Jan. 10 to withdraw from the Beijing Games without financial penalty.

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