COVID-19 is rearing its ugly head again and causing the NHL to shut down for the next five days.

There have been issues with COVID-19 for the NHL and other professional sports all season. Most of the early issues have been protocol where unvaccinated players have to sit out games depending upon the opposing team's rules are based on where the team is located.

There has been a rise in players testing positive for COVID-19. No word if the omicron variant is the cause but either way it's not good for hockey and hockey fans.

WOOD reports, "the NHL is beginning a leaguewide shutdown Wednesday, December 22. 10 teams were already in quarantine and now the other 22 teams have had to pause and close their facilities."

Five games in the next week are postponed bringing the total for this NHL season to 49. That is a lot of games to reschedule and this will have an effect on the Olympic team as well.

The Capitals take on the Flyers tonight, and the Lightning will take on the Golden Nights for the late game but these will be the last two games played until Monday, December 27. Teams are expected to return to practice Sunday and get a COVID-19 test. Players must test negative before being allowed back on the ice.

Before the NHL shut down, the Detroit Red Wings had already postponed their game yesterday against Colorado plus this Thursday's game at Minnesota.

To show just have fast COVID-19 is spreading in the NHL, 49 games have been postponed this season with 44 of those games postponed in the last two weeks. Hopefully, this temporary shutdown gets teams healthy so the season can continue uninterrupted for the remainder of the year.

The NHL players that were part of the Olympic team will more than likely miss their opportunity to represent the United States in the Beijing Games. A decision will be made sometime this week.

ALSO SEE: 30 Most Decade-Defining Memes

READ MORE: 25 Companies You Might Not Know Are Owned by Disney

More From 97.9 WGRD