The NHL has suspended the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
League commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement in a statement Thursday afternoon following a conference call with the board of governors.
The move to “pause” the NHL schedule came after the NBA announced the same measure Wednesday night following the revelation a member of the Utah Jazz had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“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,” Bettman’s statement read. “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.”
The American Hockey League is taking the same steps
The National Lacrosse League is also taking the same steps as they announced Thursday that the league is on hold until further notice.
The Western Hockey League through the Canadian Hockey League has also decided to suspend the rest of the season indefinitely meaning the Regina Pats will not play their final few games of the 2019-20 season starting with a game Friday in Brandon.
The Canadian Football League has cancelled regional combines and the national combines slated for later this month. A planned “Randy’s Road Trip” stop in Halifax has also been postponed,
Major League Baseball says following a call with the 30 clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. has announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans.
The World Women’s Curling Championship scheduled to begin in Prince George this weekend has also been called off.
Despite leagues deciding to put operations on hold, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League had planned to keep going, but the Canadian Junior “A’ Hockey League and Hockey Canada have shut down operations meaning there will be no more games until further notice. This also applies to the Saskatchewan Midget Triple A league and Midget Female league.
We are currently experiencing a large volume of views on our website which has caused the page to crash. Provided below is the memorandum issued today regarding the Hockey Canada Decision in Response to COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/JJCRAGtcWR
— Saskatchewan Hockey Association (@sask_hockey) March 13, 2020