“As a result of an additional New York Islanders Player entering COVID Protocol this morning, and up to eight Players potentially unavailable to play due to COVID Protocol, as well as the possibility of additional cases due to spread, the team’s games will be postponed,” the league said in a statement.
The announcement comes as Covid-19 cases across the US climb
once again after dropping off during a dramatic summer surge
fueled by the Delta variant.
Experts are now also concerned about a new and potentially even more transmissible strain
of the virus, named Omicron.
New York was scheduled to play at the New York Rangers on Sunday and at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
In its statement, the league said the decision to postpone was made in consultation with medical groups for the team and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. It added it is now in the process of reviewing and revising the team’s regular season schedule.
“The Islanders organization has followed, 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 league said.
The Islanders (5-10-2) have lost eight straight games.
Earlier this month, the NHL postponed three Ottawa Senators’ games
due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the team, saying there was “evidence of continued spread” of the virus — and marking the first stoppage of play for an NHL team this season.