It's about damn time. The NHL has finally decided to postpone at least two New York Islanders games due to their COVID outbreak. On Saturday afternoon, the Islanders officially announced that the NHL had postponed their game against the New York Rangers on Sunday, November 28th and against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, November 30.
According to the Islanders release, an additional player would be added to the COVID protocol list today, that up to eight players wouldn't be available due to COVID (so that doesn't count injuries to Pulock and Nelson), and there is the potential for "additional cases" beyond the ones already identified.
So Sunday's game against the Rangers and Flyers will be rescheduled. But why the hell did the NHL wait so long?
New York Islanders have two games postponed for COVID
The postponement is obviously great news. This should help contain the virus and prevent it from infecting anyone else on the Islanders squad, any of their family members, or anyone on the other side of the ice when they eventually get back to playing.
We've known for a while now that this virus is aggressive and can spread quickly. So when player-after-player started hitting the COVID protocol list the NHL should have acted then to contain the virus. Instead, the NHL irresponsibly waited for an extra week+ before making this announcement.
What the hell took so long? This outbreak has been going on for a while now. A new name has been added to the Isles COVID protocol list since Josh Bailey's name was first placed there on November 16th. This call could have been made much earlier than today.
Gary Bettman and his team have a lot of explaining to do as to why this decision was not made sooner. I'm glad this announcement was made, but this is an unquestionable abject failure by the NHL to protect its players.