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NHL suspends season due to COVID-19 (update)

The league made the announcement early this afternoon
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The National Hockey League announced this afternoon that the 2019-20 season has been postponed, beginning with games scheduled tonight.

The league held a conference call on Thursday, making the decision to “pause” the season due to COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the league said “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 Players Association also released a statement on Thursday afternoon via social media.

The statement read in part, “The decision to temporarily suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an appropriate course of action at this time.”

The announcement could potentially have a trickle-down effect in the hockey world.

The United States Hockey League, with teams based across the U.S. announced the suspension of play on Thursday, while the Canadian Hockey League – the governing body that includes the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League – had a meeting planned on Thursday with president Dan McKenzie and the three regional commissioners – David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison – to evaluate further courses of action.

The NHL is one of a number of professional sports leagues that have been affected by the virus.

The NBA announced the suspension of its season late Wednesday night.

The announcement came in light of a player from the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.

In a release, the league announced that the test result for the player, who wasn’t named, was reported shortly before the Jazz were set to tip off against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The game was cancelled, and the player was not in the arena at the time, according to the NBA.

In a statement, the league said, “the NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The National Lacrosse League also announced the suspension of play in a statement on Thursday, citing “the best interests of our fans, our players, our coaches and our staff.”

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Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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