The National Hockey League announced Thursday it will "pause" the 2019-2020 season due to concerns about coronavirus.
The move comes a day after the NBA suspended play following a player's positive COVID-19 test. The NHL has not said any player has tested positive for the virus.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that because the NHL shares many facilities and locker rooms with NBA leagues, "it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point" and that "it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time."
The NHL is halting play with 189 games left in the regular season and sparking uncertainty about how many more if any could be go on before the playoffs.
A handful of European hockey leagues have already called off the remainder of their seasons.
"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," Bettman said. "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.”
Concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have necessitated cancellations and postponements all around the sports world.
College basketball tournaments have been canceled all around the country.
The NBA now has two players who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports.
And now hockey has followed the lead of other leagues and organizations, suspending play to help curtail the spread of the new coronavirus.