The number of Islanders games in need of rescheduling climbed to eight on Friday as the NHL postponed a West Coast road trip — four games scheduled next week at Seattle, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary — in an effort to save gate revenue for Canadian teams affected by attendance restrictions.
That means the Islanders won’t visit Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle until later in the year instead of making the cross-country trip for one game now. It also means, at least as of now, they’re scheduled to go nearly two weeks between a New Year’s Day game at home against the Oilers and a Jan. 13 contest against the Devils without a game.
But that is subject to — and very well could — change.
Due to the COVID-19 surge brought on by the Omicron variant, Canadian provinces have reintroduced attendance restrictions, prompting the NHL to push home games for the seven teams North of the border down the line. The league also rescheduled four more games on Friday for the same purpose, affecting Minnesota and Vegas, who were meant to make swings through the country.
The Islanders have also yet to reschedule a game at the Flyers originally set for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In addition, they also had three games — against the Canadiens, Capitals and Sabres — postponed during the Christmas break.
Though the team’s own COVID-19 cases didn’t prompt this move, they did get Oliver Wahlstrom and Anthony Beauvillier out of protocol on New Year’s Eve. Brock Nelson and Sebastian Aho are still in protocol.