NHL Pauses Remainder of 2019-20 Season
Following a conference call with the NHL board of governors, commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement indicating the league will pause the remainder of the 2019-20 season over coronavirus concerns.
“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.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt anyone’s surprised by this announcement. The spread of the virus in North America, combined with the NBA’s decision last night to pause their season, left the league no choice. It’s the sensible thing to due under the circumstances.
It’s hoped more details will be revealed as to when the NHL will resume the rest of the schedule, as well as when they’ll start the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, which were to begin on April 8. Various scenarios have reportedly been discussed, but there’s nothing confirmed yet as to what the schedule will look like once this pause has been lifted. It’s possible the playoffs could push throughout June or perhaps into July.
The bottom line here is the league intends to resume the schedule within the four weeks. They haven’t reached the point where they will cancel the season.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to update this site daily throughout this period with the latest NHL news and rumors. I hope you’ll all continue to check in regularly. Take care of yourselves, and please follow instructions to protect you and others from catching or spreading this coronavirus. Here’s hoping we can all get back to watching NHL hockey soon.
After all the other major sports cancellations the NHL had no choice but to take this action.
As for us, stay safe and protect your families until this insidious disease runs its course.
If you are able, Lyle (and assuming you even want to) please keep the board open as we go along.
I’ll still be here every day, George, providing updates and rumors as they happen. Nothing really changes, other than there will be less NHL hockey news to report for a little while.
May as well talk hockey. If they start back up this sprint to the finish will set the cear favourites for the cup. Regardless of playoff positioning, the top few playoff teams from here on out will be the true cup favourites…which is great for us leaf fans.
Ater 50 years as a leafs fan they will probably win it all with no one in the stands and have to cancel the parade
Stay safe everyone. Hasn’t hit western pa yet but Me and my family are prepped if I end up being exposed daily. Fun times.
Hope you’re taking precautions in keeping with your line of work Chrisms, Here our Prime Minister and his family are in self-isolation after he and his wife returned from various venues in the U.K. feeling “crappy.”
Glad to hear we’ll have this venue open Lyle. I see where N.B. reported their first case. Has it hit the Island yet?
Not yet. I’m not worried about it. I’m taking the necessary precautions, and I can self-isolate if necessary, which won’t affect my work since I do it from home.
It’ll be like that vision I had of you prepping coffee! Complete with the hole in your boxers!
Live and work in Santa Clara County, home to my beloved San Jose Sharks. Colleges are closing, but elementary schools remain open – at least for now. Ice & roller hockey rinks remain open, so even if NHL’ers can’t play, us amateur heroes can still skate. Whole thing is sort of surreal. Don’t think the gravity of the situation has hit yet… no NHL, no NBA, March Madness cancelled.
Anyways, stay safe and talk when hockey is back.
I love this post. Thank you bettman for the work you have done
stay safe and healthy everyone…this stinks!……but as a avs fan we need “healing” time….joking
I think they have until the original playoff date for any remnant of regular season. I think there will be a playoffs based on win % but there will have to be some tune up games.
RIP Ken King.
Maybe we should talk about the teams that loaded up a little at the deadline and will have cap issues if the NHL resumes in a month. Case in point, the Carolina Hurricanes. They have Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce on LTIR, but Hamilton could be back if the delay is over a month. This would put them in a precarious position with the cap I believe. That’s just off the top of my head, but other teams may have the same issue.
There’s no cap in the playoffs. All they need to do is wait until then to activate him if he’s ready. The hawks did it and it’s totally legal.
I’m not sorry for saying this, but when I consider that, during the same time period, there were more infections and deaths from swine flu than from coronavirus, yet there weren’t any season suspensions or any of the other “emergency measures” that we’re seeing now, I have to wonder if the only reason for all these measures is a PR thing because the average person is ignorant of medical facts.