The Dallas Stars had six players and two staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, and the NHL expects the team not to open its 2020-21 season until January 19.
Those that have tested positive are self-isolating and follow CDC and NHL protocols. The positive tests have forced the Stars to close their training facilities, and they will remain closed for several days while further daily testing and contact tracing is carried out.
As per NHL pre-season policy, the names of those who tested positive have not been released.
The NHL regular season is scheduled to begin Wednesday, January 13. Dallas, the defending Western Conference champion, was scheduled to be on the road for the first four games of the season, facing the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning in two. The match runs until January 19. Their first home game is scheduled for Jan. 22 against the Nashville Predators.
Dallas is one of four NHL teams that plan to open the season with fans in attendance, with a 30% maximum capacity of around 5,000 fans.
“The League is reviewing and revising the Stars ‘regular season schedule with the hope that the team will not open its 2020-2021 season until Tuesday, January 19. The Stars’ organization has, and will continue to follow, all of the recommended guidelines designed to protect the health and safety of its players, staff and the community at large, as established by the NHL, local, state and national agencies, ”said announced the NHL on Friday.
The NHL and NHLPA have anticipated the potential postponement of games by crafting the 56-game schedule for this season, building in the play to catch up.