The NHL announced Friday that the Dallas Stars will be forced to delay the start of their season due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Six players and two staff members received positive tests for the virus, per the announcement.
None of the people infected have been named thus far. In the statement the league released, it revealed that the Stars' first game will take place no earlier than Jan. 19. Per Elliotte Friedman, three games are affected and the plan is for the games to be rescheduled.
"As a result of the positive tests, and as an appropriate precaution, the team's training facilities have been closed, effective immediately, and will remain closed for several days while further daily testing and contact tracing is conducted," the league's statement reads. "The Stars organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state and national agencies."
Since this news comes prior to the official start of the season, the league is not breaking its policy that was announced in December. Once the season begins, the league will announced the names of players that test positive. Through training camp, however, only the league wide numbers will be released.
The league and NHLPA's agreed upon start date for the 2021 NHL season is still set for Jan. 13.