The pro hockey league earlier in the day had told teams to hold off on practices and meetings as it mulled options for its 2019-2020 season. The suspension of the season begins with tonight’s games, with 189 games remaining in the regular season.
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The season was scheduled to end April 4, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning the following week.
In a statement after an NHL Board of Governors meeting today, the NHL said it was “no longer appropriate to try and continue to play games at this time,” citing the positive COVID-19 test results for two players on the NBA’s Utah Jazz and noting the NBA and NHL teams often share arena locker rooms and facilities.
That fact made it seem “likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point.”
“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,” the league said today. “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.”
On Wednesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets said they would host the Pittsburgh Penguins today in the first NHL game without fans in attendance. The San Jose Sharks said they would play the three home games remaining this month without fans.
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