ST. LOUIS — The NHL on Sunday announced the postponement of 12 games this week, including two St. Louis Blues games, due to an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among some teams.
The Blues' three-game Canadian road trip was turned into a one-game trip Sunday when the league announced all games between an American team visiting a Canadian team would be postponed until after the league's winter break. Those postponements included the Blues' Tuesday matchup in Ottawa and a Thursday game in Toronto.
The postponements were out of an abundance of caution concerning cross-border travel and "the fluid nature of federal travel restrictions."
Before the announcement, 27 games had been postponed so far this season.
The NHL recently returned to "enhanced COVID-19 protocols that include daily testing and restrictions in a bid to limit a growing outbreak among players and staff," according to the Associated Press.
The enhanced protocols will be put into effect immediately and last through at least Jan. 7, a person with direct knowledge of discussions between the NHL and NHL Players' Association told The Associated Press on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private. The NHL's press release Sunday mentioned the "recently introduced enhanced prevention and detection measures" and said the program will be evaluated daily.
The statement said the league was also finalizing a decision regarding NHL players participating in the upcoming Winter Olympics.
The Blues had multiple players placed into COVID protocols so far this year. By November, the team already had four players spend time in COVID protocols. Most recently, starting goalie Jordan Binnington missed seven games due to COVID-19 protocols. He returned to the team earlier this week.
The Blues lost to the Winnipeg Jets Sunday afternoon by a score of 4-2.