The Dallas Stars will not begin the 2021 National Hockey League regular season as scheduled on Thursday, January 14, due to a coronavirus outbreak among the team. According to Rogers Sportsnet on Friday, six Dallas Stars and two Dallas Stars staff members have coronavirus.
The Stars were to play the Florida Panthers in back-to-back games on January 14 and 15. Then they were to play two games against the Dallas Stars on January 17 and 19 in a Stanley Cup Finals rematch. At this time, the earliest the Stars could play is January 19, meaning their first three games of the regular season will be postponed.
As the NHL reschedules games, do not be surprised if teams will have to play three games in three days. The 31 NHL teams are expected to play 56 regular season games from January 13 to May 8. There is also pressure on the NHL at this time to get the entire season completed before the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 23. That is because the NHL has a contractual agreement with NBC, which also an expensive contractual agreement with the International Olympic Committee.
The state of Texas continues to be one of the hardest hit states of coronavirus. There have been 1,961,165 cases of coronavirus in Texas to date and 30,527 deaths. Only California has had more total cases (2,676,896) and only New York has had more deaths (39,447). Of the 1,961,165 total cases in the Lone Star State, there are 355,594 active cases, while 1,574,684 people have recovered.
Meanwhile, in other NHL news related to coronavirus, the Pittsburgh Penguins canceled their practice due to possible coronavirus exposure. Pittsburgh was to have a practice and scrimmage on Saturday. The Penguins are scheduled to be part of the NHL’s regular season opener on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. Note their start time is 5:30 p.m. ET, and is part of a tripleheader on NBCSN.