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Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The National Hockey League announced it's briefly postponing all NHL games from Wednesday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Omicron variant spreads across North America.

Why it matters: Monday night's announcement of the postponement until Dec. 27 means the NHL is the first major pro sports league in North America to pause its season due to the coronavirus surge.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Driving the news: Several teams had their scheduled games postponed earlier Monday because of outbreaks within their teams — including the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Montreal Canadiens, the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

By the numbers: The pandemic has caused the postponement of 44 games during the 2021-22 NHL season, CBS Sports notes.

The big picture: The NHL introduced a strict COVID vaccination policy in September and announced the following month that only four out of more than 700 players were unvaccinated for this season.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton's wild ride and possible buyers

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Peloton is having a bumpy ride, and has become a source of fascination among even those who've never invested or clipped in.

Driving the news: On Monday, a hedge fund with less than a 5% stake in Peloton called for CEO John Foley to be fired and for the connected fitness company to consider seeking a strategic buyer. Shares gained nearly 10% on the news, but remained down 16.2% for the year and off 80% their December 2020 peak.

Scoop: Republicans probe NBC over Beijing Olympics coverage

Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have sent a letter to NBC Universal executives voicing concerns about "the extent of influence the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) may have over NBCUniversal’s coverage of the games."

Why it matters: The human rights abuses committed by the CCP have been the subject of intense scrutiny ahead of this year's Winter Games in Beijing. Activists last year sent a letter to NBC executives urging the network to cancel plans to cover the Olympics.