The National Hockey League has reportedly dropped out of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. An official announcement by the league is expected to be made shortly. Chris Johnston broke the news through The Toronto Star on Tuesday.
With the potential of a three-to-five week quarantine for Olympic athletes that test positive in Beijing to be in effect, the NHL is not taking any chances and has canceled their plans of attending the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The NHL has suspended 45 games in the last eight days and has a total of 50 games to reschedule as of Tuesday. The league is expected to fill the three-week pause that was initially reserved for the 2022 Olympics with rescheduled games.
Sources confirm the February break in the #NHL schedule, originally for the Olympics, will now be used to play make up games for all games taken off the board.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) December 21, 2021
The Golden Knights have several players on their roster that are Olympic-level athletes such as Alex Pietrangelo, who was one of three players named to Team Canada’s roster. But guys like Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Mark Stone, and William Karlsson will not play at the Olympics this year. Robin Lehner was one of the first players to drop out of the 2022 Winter Olympics for mental health reasons.
As of 11:00 am PST, the Vegas Golden Knights will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at home as the only game on the NHL schedule Tuesday. The remaining nine games that were originally slated for Tuesday have been postponed.
There are currently 131 players in the NHL that are in COVID-19 protocols which make up 18% of all NHL rosters. The Vegas Golden Knights are one of only seven teams in the NHL that do not have any players in protocols as of Tuesday. The Lightning do not have any players in protocols as of Tuesday as well.
More to come.