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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are warning people of a continued rise in cybercrime. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Victoria police warn of rising cybercrime called spear phishing

Fraudsters continue to trick people out of large sums of money

The purchase of 27 acres in the Millstream Creek watershed by The Land Conservancy and other partners will protect a sensitive ecosystem in the Highlands. (Photo contributed by The Land Conservancy)
Provincial land conservancy lays out $600,000 for Highlands property

Anonymous donor helps buy purchased 11.1 hectares of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem

Colin Springford doing what he loved best, tending to his garden. (Linda Matteson photo)
Longtime farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head inmates in Metchosin receive their first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at a fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. Mowi Canada has applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June, 2022. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
Major B.C. salmon farms seek court intervention in Discovery Islands ban

Fisheries minister is phasing out operations in the area by June 2022

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

Most Read