The NHL suspended the 2019-20 season in the midst of the coronavirus a day after the NBA suspended their season, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. The league is on hiatus with the hope that it is short to protect player health and safety.
The Washington Capitals released a follow-up statement following the NHL’s official announcement:
TSN’s Frank Seravalli said that the league has asked teams to provide arena availability through the end of July.
Hearing as part of the #NHL‘s due diligence process, teams have been asked to provide arena building availability through the end of July.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 12, 2020
The NCAA also announced that the Frozen Four will be held without fans. The IIHF announced that the 2020 Ice Hockey World Championship has not been canceled despite reports that they have. The MLB is expected to suspend spring training and delay the beginning of the regular season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks became the first team to announce that they will play games with no fans in the stands on Wednesday.
The NBA was the first major sports league across North America to suspend their season due to the coronavirus after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus prior to their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In addition to the NBA, the 2020 NCAA March Madness Tournament will be played without fans and soccer leagues across Europe have been suspended while the MLS suspended play for 30 days.
Over the past few days, teams across the NHL have restricted locker room access to the media and have held press conferences and interviews outside of it with the players speaking a podium.
NHL players and coaches have expressed that they will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation.
The AHL is expected to do the same and has a conference call scheduled for 3 PM ET, according to Dreger.
By Harrison Brown