The NHL is pausing the 2021-22 season due to a COVID-19 outbreak across multiple organizations. The seemingly never-ending additions to the COVID-19 protocols over the past week have put a damper on the NHL's progress thus far. The pause is in effect after Tuesday's games and will remain in place until December 26.
The best-case scenario for the NHL was to avoid having to pause the season. Unfortunately, they got backed into a corner rather quickly with the number of teams currently facing issues. The Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers tilt scheduled for Tuesday night, for example, had already been postponed due to the current outbreak in the Panthers' locker room. That leaves just three games remaining on Tuesday before the NHL pauses until next week.
Pausing the schedule seems like a certain stopgap measure for the NHL to at least let players enjoy the holidays. This also gives executives some time to discuss protocols moving forward. We've already seen some of the same protocol discussions take place in both the NBA and NFL as both leagues have also been ravaged by positive tests this month. It will be interesting to see what the NHL decides to do in the coming days.