On Tuesday, the National Hockey League announced that the Buffalo Sabres will postpone their season until at least Feb. 8 due to COVID-19 issues. Two players on the team have entered the NHL's COVID protocols, so the league, the NHLPA's and the team's medical groups made the decision to pause play.
They will analyze test results for the next few days.
According to reports, the Sabres believe playing the New Jersey Devils, who also paused their season, is to blame for their own shutdown. This means they believe there was a transmission on the ice.
The Sabres reportedly spoke to the NHLPA ahead of Sunday's game with their concerns regarding play and the COVID-19 issues currently in the league.
In the statement on the pause, the league wrote:
"The Sabres 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."
As a result of the season pause, the team's facilities have closed until further notice. There is no timeline determined on when the facilities will open at this time.
The pause of play could mean issues with the schedule, so the league is looking at making changes to their current slate of games. The NHL is expected to make a decision on next week's games within the next few days.
They are not the first team to have their season postponed due to COVID-19 issues. On Monday, the league announced that the New Jersey Devils will not play until at least Saturday, Feb. 6, because of an increase in COVID absences.