Well, this is certainly a bummer.
The Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche were scheduled to kick off the 2020-21 NHL season with a pair of games at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. That trip is now off the table.
The Blue Jackets, NHL and NHL Players Association made the announcement official on Friday morning.
“We are disappointed by the postponement of our trip to Finland, but look forward to having the opportunity to play in front of Finland’s passionate hockey fans in the future,” said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen (a native of Kuopio, Finland and the league’s first European-born GM).
COVID-19 forced the NHL to pause its nearly-completed 2019-20 regular season in mid-March and there's no timetable for a resumption of play, though several reports have indicated that the league is trying to finish the season and award the Stanley Cup. When/if the season does resume, several scenarios are in play, including a jump directly to the playoffs and an expanded field, perhaps 20 or 24 teams.
This fall's scheduled trip to Europe would have been the Blue Jackets' second in team history. Columbus began the 2011-12 season in Stockholm, Sweden, where they split a pair of games with the San Jose Sharks at the Globe Arena.