Rising COVID-19 numbers lead Detroit Red Wings to shut down through Christmas

Detroit Free Press

A day after Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin wondered about a possible shutdown, the Wings have been put on pause through Christmas.

The decision was announced Sunday. The Wings only had one game, Dec. 23 at the Minnesota Wild, on the schedule for the coming week, because Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche was postponed when the Avs put their season on pause Friday.

Over the past few days, the Wings have placed multiple personnel into pandemic protocol: Players Alex Nedeljkovic, Pius Suter, Sam Gagner, Joe Veleno, Filip Zadina, Robby Fabbri, Michael Rasmussen, Carter Rowney and Givani Smith, along with head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay. Players Tyler Bertuzzi, Danny DeKeyser and Marc Staal also have been in quarantine.

The Wings still played Saturday, beating the New Jersey Devils, 5-2. Larkin said afterwards that, “We did wonder today if the league is going to step in.”

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In addition to the Wings and Avalanche, the virus also has forced the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators to shut down their seasons. On Sunday, the NHL announced cross-border games would be postponed through Christmas.

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A decision on when to resume will be made by the Wings in conjunction with the league and NHL Players Association. The Wings are scheduled to play at the New York Rangers Dec. 27.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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