Dallas Stars season delayed due to COVID-19 outbreak

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The NHL announced Friday that the Dallas Stars season will be delayed after six players and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

The Stars canceled practice on Friday and plan to begin the season no earlier than Jan. 19 and reschedule the three games impacted by the delay.

"As a result of the positive tests, and as an appropriate precaution, the team's training facilities have been closed, effective immediately, and will remain closed for several days while further daily testing and contact tracing is conducted," the NHL said in a statement. "The Stars organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state and national agencies."

The Stars had been scheduled to open the season with a four-game road trip in Florida, with two games against the Panthers on Jan. 14-15 in and two games with the Lightning on Jan. 17 and 19 in Tampa.

The Panthers will start their season at home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday the 17th, after confirming the two games scheduled to be played at BB&T Center are being postponed.

"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."