When it comes to COVID-19, the NHL is far from out of the woods.
The Edmonton Oilers are the latest group to feel the virus's wrath, as the team announced on Tuesday morning that defenseman Cody Ceci has been placed in the league's COVID-19 protocols. As a result, the Oilers announced that their team practice scheduled for later that day has been canceled for precautionary reasons, as well.
Ceci's placement in COVID-19 protocols continues a troubling trend of outbreaks that is currently making its way throughout the league.
Earlier this month, the Ottawa Senators saw three of their upcoming games postponed after 10 players were forced into league protocols, while the New York Islanders are currently on a pause thanks to eight players being unavailable for the same reason, postponing the upcoming two games on their schedule, as well.
And these cases are only continuing their rise.
Earlier this morning, the St. Louis Blues announced that forward Tyler Bozak has been placed in protocols, while the Boston Bruins announced the for their head coach, Bruce Cassidy.
With more players being unavailable due to the virus and more games being rescheduled for later dates, focus has now shifted towards whether the NHL will opt-out of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. If the schedule becomes even more condensed than it already is due to continuing outbreaks, the league may opt against disrupting the season for three weeks to send its players overseas.
The deadline for the NHL to make its decision is January 10th.