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

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

(Black Press file photo)
Summerland’s solar project meets council priorities

Project an investment in electric utility infrastructure

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has implemented extended hours at four landfills, beginning March 1, 2020. (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen extends landfill hours

Summer hours at four facility take effect March 1, 2021.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has cleared the Lumby RCMP of any wrongdoing after a missing person was found deceased in December 2020. (IIO photo)
Police watchdog says North Okanagan RCMP played no role in missing person’s death

The body was found by a family member shortly after the RCMP suspended their search

The images are of Bald Eagles feeding.
Photos: Birds of prey

Princeton photographer captures compelling photos of a Bald Eagle breakfast

HOPE Okanagan’s Stay at Home Gala will raise funds to help serve Kelowna and Vernon’s vulnerable. (HOPE Okanagan)
Non-profit hosts virtual gala to support Okanagan’s vulnerable

HOPE Okanagan wants to raise awareness and support for those struggling in the streets

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

An off-duty Vernon Taxi driver got a 24-hour licence suspension, vehicle towed, after failing a standardized field sobriety test around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (John E Green - Facebook)
Vernon Taxi towed after driver suspected impaired

Off-duty cab towed from McDonald’s drive-thru early Tuesday morning

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

Most Read