NHL postpones next two games for Maple Leafs and Canucks

Hockey fans sign along to the Canadian national anthem prior to the NHL pre-season game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers in Vancouver, Saturday, October 9, 2021. (Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The NHL has postponed the next two games for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.

Both the Leafs and Canucks are currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak with nine players in COVID-19 protocol and were scheduled to play on Saturday. The league has also postponed Toronto's next game on Sunday against the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver's game on Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes.

Toronto added captain John Tavares, Alexander Kerfoot, Wayne Simmonds and Jason Spezza to the protocol list. Vancouver has Luke Schenn, Juho Lammikko, Brad Hunt, Tucker Poolman, Jason King (assistant coach), Tyler Motte in protocol.

After the Maple Leafs learned of the status of Tavares and Kerfoot, the team cancelled its practice at the University of British Columbia as a precaution.

“Since we came out west to Edmonton, I've haven’t left my hotel except for going for walks,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said this week. “Frankly, my priority right now is to get back to Toronto in time for Christmas healthy and safe. Get back to my family. I think everybody is like that.

“It’s even extra challenging being on the road right now, because I don’t want to be stuck here through Christmas. So, there’s lots of reasons to be smart right now.”

On Friday the NHL postponed Saturday's game between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston along with all Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche games through Christmas because of COVID-19 concerns.

As a result of the Leafs, Canucks and Canadiens games being postponed, the Ottawa Senators vs. Philadelphia Flyers game on Saturday night will be available on Sportsnet and can be streamed for free on SN NOW at 7:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Edmonton Oilers vs. Seattle at 10:00 p.m. ET.

With the Canucks and Leafs' games on Sunday both postponed, the New Jersey Devils-Pittsburgh Penguins matchup will be available on Sportsnet.

Editor's Note: The COVID-19 situation, in the NHL and around the world, is constantly evolving. Readers in Canada can consult the country's public health website for the latest.

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