When the NHL returns from its All-Star break in early February, it is expected that asymptomatic players and staff will no longer be subjected to COVID-19 testing.
The league and NHLPA have agreed on the matter, but nothing has been officially announced or finalized at this moment.
The NHL has had over 100 games postponed this season due to an increase in COVID-19 case, as well as attendance restrictions in Canada.
Based on the new agreement between the league and the players tests will only be adminsterred when it comes to border crossing requirements and in cases where players or staff have symptoms.
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported that the league informed teams that more than 73% of players have tested positive at some point this season, with approximately 60% testing positive in the past five weeks. Many (but not all) of those players remained asymptomatic. All but one NHL player (Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi) is vaccinated.
Schedule update expected this week
It is expected that the NHL will announce makeup dates in the coming days — perhaps even as soon as Wednesday — for most of the more than 100 games that have been postponed.
With NHL players no longer participating in the Olympics there is a three-week window in February that is going to be used to fill in the schedule for postponed games. It stands to reason that with so many games and teams impacted, and with so few dates open to actually reschedule games, that teams are going to have a very condensed schedule in the second half of the season. They should probably expect several back-to-back situations and perhaps even a handful of three games in four day stretches throughout the month.