National Hockey League Puts Season On Hold
Concerns over COVID-19 prompted the NHL to suspend play indefinitely.
It may be a while before it’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh.
A day after the National Basketball League suspended its season when two Utah Jazz players tested positive for Coronavirus, the National Hockey League followed suit.
The suspension takes effect immediately, meaning the Penguins will not play the Blue Jackets in Columbus tonight.
“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,” commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday afternoon in a statement released by the NHL. “Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”
Bettman said the league had been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, without taking “premature and unnecessary measures.”
“However, [with] 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.”