A day after the NBA had it’s first case of COVID-19, and suspended it’s season, the NHL cancelled morning skates and team meetings in order to allow the league and the NHLPA to assess their situation and determine next steps. The end result is what we all should have expected, and honestly hoped for…
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
For now we’ve got just an indefinite suspension, meaning that life will may pretty much go on as planned in the very near future, except for when there is the realization that it is unlikely that there will be encouraging developments in the near future. After all, this has been something that has been steadily worsening since December. While I don’t want to crush any optimism, this seems like a window of time for getting buy-in to more substantial actions.
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
Source: AHL teams fully expecting season to be shut down.
— Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) March 12, 2020
USHL to Suspend Season Due to COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/CiV6mT8WUk
— USHL (@USHL) March 12, 2020
A prolonged suspension of the season could mean a lot of things. We could see games simply pushed back and everything gets played out later, and we could see the 2019-20 season flow seamlessly into the 2020-21 season. We could see a decision to outright cancel the regular season, and jump to playoffs when the league is able to resume, or this could be it for 2019-20, and we’ll see you at the draft. The two biggest factors will be prevalence and time, and right now those are two pretty big unknown variables.
Health before hockey is the way things need to be, and this decision is the one that gives hockey the best chance at being played this year. Early containment and reducing the risk of wide spread infection is the name of the game, it’s not overreacting, it’s prevention, and it benefits you and those you care about.
Not that it’s much of a consolation, but we’ll still have Leafs coverage for you here, and we’ll probably get weird with it.
Stay safe and wash your hands.