In the face of the NBA suspending their season due to the coronavirus, the NHL has somehow decided to kick their decision to Thursday.
The NBA shockingly opted to suspend their season on Wednesday night after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus and the Oklahoma City Thunder versus Jazz game was postponed in light of that revelation.
The NHL, which had five games on Wednesday night, played on despite the turmoil, and released a statement later in the evening stating that they were aware of the NBA’s decision and were expected to make a decision on the matter on Thursday.
Here is the NHL’s statement, in full, from their website:
The National Hockey League is aware of the NBA’s decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus. The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow.
The coronavirus first emerged in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, China. To date, more than 90,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide, with the virus being identified in more than 70 countries, including the United States. The virus spreads similarly to influenza, with sneezing and coughing as the primary vectors of infection.
On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization declared the virus a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” In order to contain the spread of the virus, countries around the world have implemented travel bans, curfews and quarantines.
With how rapidly news has escalated over the past 48 hours, it’s disheartening to hear the NHL table their discussion for another day on the matter with the lives at risk. Though with games in progress while the news about the NBA was breaking, it likely would have been hard to fully stop those games without the pandemonium that broke out during the Thunder versus Jazz game.
According to TSN insider Darren Dreger, the NHL opted not to suspend the season on Wednesday in order to get more time to talk it over with owners and the players’ association before deciding.
Given just how many teams came into contact with the Jazz over the last few days — and the fact that NHL and NBA teams share arenas in many cities — it’s hard not to envision Wednesday night being the last NHL games we shall see for awhile.
There are a lot of possibilities at play, from postponing the regular season until later in the spring to the NHL ending the regular season as of Wednesday and beginning with the playoffs when play resumes.
As it stands, the NHL has 10 games set to be played on Thursday night as Wednesday’s games end.
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