Nov 19: The league has rescheduled Ottawa’s November 16 game against the Devils for December 6. The Senators are preparing for many of their players to exit the protocol tomorrow and reopen facilities. Their schedule will resume on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.
Nov 15: With nearly half their regular roster in the COVID protocol, the Ottawa Senators will be shut down for the next several games. Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports that the team’s next three games–against the New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators and New York Rangers–will be postponed. The team will stay off the ice until later this week and are currently scheduled to restart their season on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche. The league has confirmed the shutdown, indicating that not only are games postponed through November 20, but the team’s training facilities have been closed until further notice.
This is pretty close to a worst-case scenario for the league, which obviously hoped to get through this season without any COVID-related postponements. The league already watched as the San Jose Sharks played a half dozen games without seven key players, and the Senators have been struggling to find healthy defensemen in recent days. In fact, the Senators signed Zac Leslie to an NHL contract just yesterday to give them some more organizational depth, something that may not have been necessary now that they’re going to shut things down for a week.
Important to remember here is that the NHL still has the ability to opt-out of the 2022 Olympics if their schedule is adversely affected by COVID postponements in the coming months. That decision must be made by January 10, 2022, and would obviously create an incredibly challenging situation for the representing countries to find and prepare a substitute roster in just a few weeks. Keeping the schedule as is and hoping teams can get through outbreaks without postponement is obviously the goal, but with the Senators things had gotten out of control.
It is unclear when the postponed games will be played.