NHL suspends season in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The NHL announced Thursday afternoon that the 2019-20 season has been suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a statement, the NHL said the pause on the season will begin with Thursday's games.

"The NHL has been attempting to follow mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures," the league said.

"However, following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive[1] for coronavirus — and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now see seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test postive at some point — it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time."

Earlier Thursday, all NHL clubs were advised not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings amid efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

The move came after the NBA suspended its schedule last night following the revelation a player for the Utah Jazz tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks had said Wednesday they would play upcoming home games behind closed doors and without fans after state and local officials instituted bans on large gatherings of people.

There were 10 games on tonight's NHL schedule, including in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary.


  1. ^ NBA player has tested positive (www.cbc.ca)
  2. ^ @PR_NHL (twitter.com)

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