By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
On Thursday, March 12th, 2020, the National Hockey League officially announced that they have suspended the 2019-2020 regular-season for an indefinite amount of time due to the recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The news is not as much of a surprise as last night, March 11th, a National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed after Rudy Gobert was determined to have tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the game. A few days earlier, Gobert jokingly touched all of the reporter’s microphones and recorders following a press conference and as a result, the NBA made the decision to suspend their season as self-quarantines were recommended to numerous teams.
On Thursday, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they would suspend spring training and potentially the beginning of the regular-season. High-profile tournaments and other sporting leagues also followed the path of the NBA and MLB and suspended their operations, leaving the NHL with a big decision to make and to the eyes of many, they made the correct choice suspending the league.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear that the league plans to eventually continue with the season, stating “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.”, in the official statement included above. Other reports earlier in the day suggested that arenas were asked to keep availability into July if the games are able to continue.
Due to this unique nature, the consequences are not yet known. At this point, the situation is ongoing and more details are being revealed to the public by the minute. Details on what this means for the salary cap, potential shortened season, or full-on cancellation is not yet known, but the hope is that the outbreak settles and comes to an eventual end.
For the Boston Bruins, a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Stanley Cup winning Bruins team that was scheduled for March 24th has been postponed until the 2020-21 season. An official new date will be updated at a later time.
As of March 12th at 2:17 EST, COVID-19 has infected over 133,086 people worldwide, taking the lives of 4,949. In the United States, there are 1,412 cases with 40 total deaths while Canada has 122 cases and one death, with numbers continuing to rise daily. As of now, the hardest hit nations are China, Italy and Iran who have a combined 105,984 cases and 4,614 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “pandemic” on March 11th.
Updates on the situation and the consequences are as mentioned, being updated daily. For up-to-the-minute news, make sure to follow me on Twitter (@tkdmaxbjj), as well as on the blackngoldhockey.com website for anything Boston Bruins related. We at Black N’ Gold send our well wishes to those affected and remind everyone to stay safe during this pandemic.