NHL Suspends Season Over Coronavirus Outbreak

Kirsten Schneider, Writer, Editor

On Thursday, March 12th, the NHL suspended the rest of its season due to the continuation of the rapid spread of coronavirus. This isn’t a shock to many, as the NBA suspended their season the previous night for the same exact reason. There were 189 games and 3 ½ weeks remaining left in the NHLs regular season.

The reason for this suspension, was because of the event of a NBA player on the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, testing positive for the Coronavirus. The NBA suspended their season on the 11th, then the NHL decided to do the same the next day. The MLB and other leagues also decided to follow in their footsteps.

Their exact statement was:

“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 statement that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus — and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and now it seems likely that some members 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 the NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”

This also means there will be no practices, morning skates, and meetings for players, which could be a bad thing for playoffs being so soon. The players will be so rusty once the season gets unsuspended. The Tampa Bay Lightning also released a statement, via Instagram, stating this: 

“This afternoon, the National Hockey League, after a meeting of its Board of Governors, announced it would pause the 2019-20 season due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. As a member club, the Tampa Bay Lightning will not be playing games until the NHL, along with the government and health officials, decide the timing is right to return to ice. This is obviously a tough and disappointing decision for everyone, but one that is appropriate to prioritize the safety of our fans, partners, players, and staff. The team will continue to work in consultation with the NHL, as well as with the city and county representatives, to monitor the situation moving forward.”

This obviously upset me as a huge Lightning hockey fan at first, especially considering the fact I had a game I was going to on March 15th. However, this gives Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Jan Rutta the chance to heal before playoffs start. They would be crucial to have going into the playoff season. This also gives players the chance to rest. I just hope the players don’t slack off and lose all their talent. Let’s just hope this time goes by fast, and that this virus doesn’t affect anyone else.