SUNRISE, Fla. – The NHL has announced that the Dallas Stars are not expected to open their season until Jan. 19 because of COVID-19 issues.
That means that the Florida Panthers’ first two games, which had been set against Dallas on Jan. 14 and Jan. 15, will not be played as scheduled.
In a statement, the Panthers said fans with thickets to those games should hold on to them. They will be honored when the make-up dates are announced.
“The safety of our fans, players, personnel, and the community are, and will remain, our top priority, and therefore we, along with the Dallas Stars organization, will continue to follow all recommended protocols and guidelines as we observe this postponement,” the statement read, in part.
According to the league, six Stars players and two staff members recently tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, the team’s facilities have been closed and Dallas’ season will not begin until at least Jan. 19.
The NHL will reschedule the games between Dallas and Florida, but has not said when.
The next scheduled game for the Panthers as of now is Jan. 17 against the Chicago Blackhawks at the BB&T Center.
Florida has the day off Friday following Thursday night’s intrasquad scrimmage.
The Panthers will be back on the ice Saturday morning for two split squad practices in Sunrise.