We all saw it coming.
Less than 24 hours after the NBA announced the suspension of their season until further notice, the NHL has announced that they will follow suit.
The suspension comes amid growing concerns of the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has spread through 114 different countries in recent months. On Wednesday night, the NBA suspended their season indefinitely after Rudy Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus. All members of the Toronto Raptors, the most recent team to play the Jazz, have been placed under self-quarantine for the next 14 days.
The NHL announced on Wednesday night that they were aware of the NBA’s decision to suspend the season, but did not immediately take action. The NHL stated the league would “continue to consult with medical experts and evaluate the options.”
In a further update on Thursday, the NHL took action by announcing the indefinite suspension of NHL operations. Prior to the suspension, the San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets were among teams that announced they would play home games without fans present.
The NBA’s Utah Jazz had a recent road trip that included stops in New York, Detroit, and Boston. All three of these cities’ NBA squads share a stadium with NHL teams. There have not yet been any confirmed cases of coronavirus among NHL players.
According to multiple sources, the NHL will continue to weigh out their options to determine the best possible way around the COVID-19 situation. The options they are exploring include:
– Suspending the season and playoffs completely. The new season will begin in October.
– The regular season will be finished and teams will begin a condensed playoff format in the coming weeks. All teams currently in a playoff position will qualify.
– The NHL suspends operations for a few weeks, and then continues play as normal when the coronavirus threat decreases. The remaining regular season games will be played out, and playoffs will run into July.
GCSN will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation in the NHL.
Featured photo courtesy of GCSN
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