NHL Suspends Season Due to Coronavirus

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  • The NHL became the latest league to suspend operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The league's decision will follow similar announcements from the NBA and MLS, among others.
NHL coronavirus
Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL has suspended the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.

The decision comes on the heels of multiple other leagues and events suspending operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The NHL will held a conference call with members of its board of governors around 1 pm ET on Thursday, on which commissioner Gary Bettman discussed the suspension of the season and its ramifications, according to sources. There was no objection to the postponement, sources said.

It is expected that the NHL season will now push into late June and July, according to sources. Last year’s Stanley Cup Final concluded on June 12.

Sources said that the NHL will continue to monitor the situation, and will likely make a further determination on when the season will resume in about two weeks time. The NHL said its “goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup.”

The NBA announced yesterday that it was suspending its season following Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for the coronavirus.

In a statement, the NHL said “following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus – and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point – it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”

On Thursday, MLS also announced today that it was suspending its season for at least 30 days. It is expected that MLB will also announce that it is suspending activities ahead of the start of the regular season. The NCAA had previously announced that all winter championship tournaments would be played in front of no fans but would still continue as scheduled – however, multiple conferences have since announced that they have suspended their individual tournaments.

This story will be updated further.