The National Hockey League will discuss Thursday the immediate future of the 2019-20 season and whether suspending play is the correct course of action in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said a conference call is expected to take place involving representatives from all 31 teams on how they’ll proceed.
This decision comes after the NBA announced it is suspending its season indefinitely. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert reportedly contracted the virus. The Jazz’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was cancelled, and the league’s final game of its Wednesday slate — between the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans — was also cancelled.
All five NHL games on the Wednesday slate are proceeding as planned.
“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 league said in a statement. “The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow.
The Vegas Golden Knights are in the midst of a five-game road trip and play at the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
There have been five reported cases of coronavirus in Clark County, with three coming to light on Wednesday.
The San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets announced they will play remaining home games inside empty arenas. Vegas has four home games left this season and no one has directed T-Mobile Arena as an unwilling venue. Santa Clara County and Columbus, Ohio have banned large gatherings of at least 1,000 people. At time of publication, Las Vegas has not put an order on that.
Golden Knights statement. They’ve been in contact with T-Mobile Arena about steps if it came to that. No refunds offered unless a game isn’t made public to fans#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/5KV1WubRCR— Justin Emerson (@J15Emerson) March 12, 2020
The NHLPA responded with their own statement, as well: “We are in continuous contact with the NHL regarding the coronavirus and the recent announcement by the NBA. These discussions will continue tomorrow morning, and we will consult with players before commenting further.”
The Golden Knights and Wild are set to play at 5 p.m. PT.