This post has ben updated to reflect the league’s official announcement.
The NHL held an emergency board meeting today at 1 p.m. EDT, after which they announced the suspension of the 2019-20 season due to concerns about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
This follows news that the NBA — which shares many arenas with the NHL and has a confirmed case of the virus in a player — announced such a measure Wednesday night. Several other U.S. sports leagues and tournaments also announced suspensions or cancelations today.
This of course postpones tonight’s Islanders game and others on the schedule until further notice.
When will play resume? Anyone’s guess. According to the league’s announcement:
“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 NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”
(If you’re someone who is really skeptical about all this, I don’t know what to tell you other than: pandemics are pretty damned serious, and the insights from epidemiologist experts usually recommends that an abundance of caution is the optimal approach in the face of a virus we cannot see, and in fact do not know if we carry until we’ve already affected countless others. So think of your loved ones, or your friends’ loved ones, and how a mass approach to prevention could make a difference to countless individuals.)
We’ll keep you posted, and we’ll still be hanging around here at Lighthouse Hockey — just like we do in lockouts! — but we want you to know this is a place to share and commiserate.
Obviously, a public health crisis is far more serious than a self-imposed lockout due to fights over money. So there is much more at stake right now. It’s a weird time for all of us, and if you are actively employed during an affected part of the world, you’ve likely been dealing with issues around COVID-19 already.
So, be well, folks. We’re here when you need a distraction. Like recalling how awesome goals in the toy department are, for instance.