NHL shuts down Detroit Red Wings through Christmas break because of COVID-19 issues

The Detroit Red Wings have been shut down at least through the Christmas break because of COVID-19 issues.

The NHL announced Sunday that "due to concern with the number of positive cases within the last several days," the Red Wings' games are postponed through at least the completion of the holiday break in the league's schedule on Dec. 26.

The games affected are Monday's contest against the Colorado Avalanche (which had previously been postponed) and Thursday's game against the Minnesota Wild.

The NHL's decision came after the team placed forwards Sam Gagner, Pius Suter and Joe Veleno and assistant video coach Jeff Weintraub in the league's COVID-19 protocol earlier Sunday.

Detroit played on Saturday -- and defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-2 -- despite placing head coach Jeff Blashill and top goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, along with forwards Givani Smith, Carter Rowney and Filip Zadina and assistant coach Alex Tanguay, in the protocol earlier in the day.

The Red Wings also have forwards Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen on the COVID list.

The NHL has shut down several teams through Christmas break because of COVID-19 concerns, including the Nashville Predators, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames.