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NHL Puts Season ‘On Pause’ Due To Coronavirus

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The National Hockey League officially suspended the 2019-20 season until further notice Thursday afternoon. Here is the official statement from Commissioner Gary Bettman:

“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 announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight’s games.

 “The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures. However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus – and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker 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 to continue to play games at this time.

 “We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”

Gagne-Bergeron Pro-Am

Just prior to that announcement, a Boston Bruins source told Boston Hockey Now that the Bruins players and all NHL players had been told to go home and not return to practices and their respective practice facilities until instructed otherwise. Earlier in the day, the Bruins and all NHL teams canceled all practices and game-day skates. The Bruins had been scheduled to play the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo Friday night and then host the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday. 

There is no timetable for a return to game action or a plan for what happens if and when the league resumes but one NHL source told BHN Thursday morning that there was serious consideration being given to ending the regular season now and with the standings as they were Thursday. The plan would be to then play abbreviated first rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs and go from there when it is deemed safe to do so. 

As of 2:30 PM ET Thursday, the Bruins had yet to make an official comment. It is not known if team personnel will be made available via phone or if pool quotes will be released for the media to use. This is a developing story that likely will remain that way for the foreseeable future. BHN will update as much as possible. 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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[…] need to do the same and depend on pool quotes from the BostonBruins.com staff. As it has since the NHL went on pause March 12 due to the Coronavirus outbreak, everything is in a complete flux right now but this is just another example of how extreme safety […]

[…] means others are set to follow. No NHL player has skated in a team practice facility since the NHL paused it’s season on March 12 due to the Coronavirus. When the Bruins paused, they were coming off a 2-0 shutout of the then-streaking Philadelphia […]

[…] and wrong ways throughout the season finishing with 19 goals and 16 assists in 65 games when the NHL paused the 2019-20 season on March 12 due to Coronavirus. DeBrusk had just one goal in his last 12 games when the Bruins […]

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