COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the NHL.
The news from Wednesday morning is no different, with Boston's Patrice Bergeron becoming the 12th player to enter the league's health and safety protocols in the past 24 hours, and the 25th in the past 48.
Bergeron is not the only Bruin to be sitting on the COVID list after today's round of testing, with the 36-year-old now joining linemate Brad Marchand and forward Craig Smith in the protocols, as well.
Needless to say, this is not good.
Cases have skyrocketed across the NHL over the past few days, forcing the league to act fast by postponing all Calgary Flames games scheduled through Dec. 16 after six Flames entered protocols on Monday, and rescheduling Tuesday night's meeting between the Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild after multiple Hurricanes players tested positive in the hours leading up to puck drop.
As a response, the NHL is reportedly considering a temporary return to the protocols instituted during the shortened 2021 season to dampen the rising case numbers and prevent further postponements.
The Olympics, as well, are looking less likely by the day. With the schedule already condensed as it is, and the reported stringent protocols enforced in Beijing, the league almost certainly does not want to send its best players overseas in this current climate.
The NHL has until Jan. 10 to officially opt out of Olympic participation. All eyes will be on them in the lead-up to that date.