There will be no hockey for the foreseeable future after the NHL decided Thursday to suspend the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus outbreak.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –The NHL has suspended the season because of Coronavirus concerns.
“The @NHL pauses 2019-20 season.”
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
The league released a statement through Commissioner Gary Bettman.
“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019 20 season beginning with tonight’s games.
“The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures. However, 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.
“We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our 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. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”
“The NHL season has officially been suspended. No surprise. There is hope to resume.”
The NHL season has officially been suspended. No surprise. There is hope to resume.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 12, 2020
“#NHL season has been suspended. The league is on hiatus, with hope that it’s a short pause to protect player and staff health and safety.”
#NHL season has been suspended. The league is on hiatus, with hope that it’s a short pause to protect player and staff health and safety.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 12, 2020
According to reports, there was no official vote held during a conference call with Bettman and the league owners. A unanimous decision was decided on.
“Board of Governors call just ended. There was no opposition to pausing the season. No official vote held. Bettman asked if there was any opposition and there wasn’t.”
Board of Governors call just ended. There was no opposition to pausing the season. No official vote held. Bettman asked if there was any opposition and there wasn’t.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 12, 2020
Earlier in the day, the league canceled all practices and morning skates.
The Penguins were scheduled to play the Columbus Blue Jackets in Ohio tonight at Nationwide Arena in front of an empty building.