The New Jersey Devils will not play until at least Saturday, Feb. 6, because of an increase in COVID absences. After four more players on the team were put on the COVID Protocol Absence list, the NHL announced New Jersey's season will be postponed for almost a week, if not longer.
With games suspended until further notice, the team's facilities are also closed to all players for the time being. The NHL has not yet announced or determined when the facilities will reopen.
Four players were added to the list Monday, and five were added on Tuesday. As a result, this made 14 players in total on the COVID Protocol Absence list due to Mackenzie Blackwood coming off protocol Tuesday.
Jesper Bratt, Jack Hughes, Damon SEverson, Ty Smith, Matt Tennyson, Connor Carrick, Aaron Dell, Andreas Johnsson, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Pavel Zacha and Travis Zajac are all also players on the list, according to the team.
The stoppage means there could be scheduling issues that occur. The league is "reviewing and revising" the Devils' regular-season schedule in order to address this missed time and potential conflicts.
As of Monday, their next game is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9, at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins, though that could change.
The Devils are 4-3-2 and added to their win column on Sunday with a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.