The NBA suspended its season on Wednesday evening after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus. Considering the National Hockey League shares so many arenas with their basketball counterparts, it was expected they would follow down the same path in short order.
On Thursday afternoon, league commissioner Gary Bettman spoke with the 31 team owners and opted to suspend the 2019-20 NHL season until further notice.
"In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is anouncing that it will pause the 2019-20 season beginning with [Thursday night's] games," Bettman said in his official statement.
It's important to note that those around the league are insisting on calling this a "pause." Notably, no one on the Board of Governors was opposed to putting a halt on the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The hope around the NHL is that the league can resume their campaign shortly, where they will take things on a day-by-day basis and will provide a full evaluation in two weeks' time.
After the NBA put a temporary hold on their season, the Major League Soccer followed, while college basketball conferences cancelled their respective tournaments. On top of that, Major League Baseball is suspending Spring Training games starting Friday.
Now, the NHL has officially made a necessary move for the betterment of players, coaches, scouts, and fans.