Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser (6) skates with the puck while being watched by New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (13) and Nick Leddy (2) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

NHL suspends 2019-20 season amid coronavirus pandemic, MLB postpones season

Decision starts with Thursday’s games

The NHL said Thursday is was suspending the 2019-20 season amid COVID-19 concerns.

In a statement, Commissioner Gary Bettman said the move comes as a result of a NBA player testing positive for the coronavirus.

“Given that our leagues share so many facilities and local 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 and continue to play games at this time,” he said.

There were 10 games on Thursday’s NHL schedule, including matchups in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary.

If the NHL is eventually forced to go a step further and cancel the 2019-20 season and playoffs, it would mark the third time in its history the Stanley Cup hasn’t been awarded.

The Spanish flu forced the cancellation of the 1919 Cup final, while the entire 2004-05 campaign was lost to a lockout.

In a statement, the NHL Players’ Association said the season’s suspension was an “appropriate” measure amid the pandemic.

The NHL is not the first major sports league to suspend its season. Major League Soccer announced the suspension Thursday, while the NBA announced it Wednesday night, after at least one Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19.

The Major Baseball League also postponed its season indefinitely on Thursday, and the Canadian Football league cancelled its regional and national combine.

In Canada, more than 100 people have now tested positive for COVID-19, including a baby boy in Ontario Thursday. Ontario has the most cases at 42, with B.C. at 39, Alberta at 14 and Quebec at seven.

However, health officials said the risk to Canadians remains low. One person, a care home resident in North Vancouver, has died so far in Canada.

Globally, there have been 118,322 confirmed cases and 4,292 deaths, the majority of them in China. The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday.

VIDEO: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

READ MORE: NBA suspends season until further notice over coronavirus concerns

READ MORE: Toronto Raptors players, staff advised to go into self-isolation

READ MORE: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks residents for help containing COVID-19

Invermere & District Hospital Chief of Staff says COVID-19 cases here, caution and care needed

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

Most Read