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The NHL postponed three Ottawa Senators games on Monday amid a COVID-19 outbreak on the team, the first time any of North America’s major professional sports leagues have been hit by rescheduling this fall because of the coronavirus.
Games scheduled for Tuesday at New Jersey, at home Thursday against Nashville and at home Saturday against the New York Rangers were postponed. Ten Senators players are currently in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, and though the team played shorthanded Sunday, the depth of Ottawa's outbreak led to the league's decision.
Neither the NFL nor the NBA has had to postpone a game so far this fall. Major League Baseball had nine virus-related postponements among 2,430 scheduled games, down from 45 in last year’s shortened 900-game schedule.
The NHL postponed 51 games for virus reasons during its last regular season.
The league and Players' Association have until Jan. 10 to withdraw from the 2022 Winter Olympics if pandemic circumstances force the cancellation of so many games that the break in February is not feasible.
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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press