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NHL suspends season due to COVID-19

The coronavirus has forced many of the nations’ major sports leagues to halt play.

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St Louis Blues v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The NHL’s complete statement on the suspension of the 2019-2020 season can be found here.

Last night, the NBA cancelled the season when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus. The NCAA had already decided to play March Madness in empty arenas, and earlier today, MLS announced that their season was to be suspended for at least the next 30 days.

Seeing as how the NBA and NHL share arenas - locker rooms are the big concern here - and staff, it is not shocking that the league issued a statement last night that they would be coming to a decision today regarding the future of the remainder of the season. The Blues have 11 games left on the schedule, and that looks like that none of them will be played.

The NHL will be announcing that the remainder of the regular season, running through April 4th for the Blues, will be suspended. This morning, the league issued a directive to suspend morning skates and practices pending their 1 PM Eastern announcement.

The concern for the league is, of course, not just for their players and staff. Being in crowds is a sure-fire way to spread the coronavirus, which can be spread via coughing, sneezing, saliva, or contact with infected surfaces. People aged 60 and older as well as individuals with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable at this time, and it is not fully understood if spread happens without showing symptoms.

The NHL has suspended play before for a virus. The 1919 Stanley Cup was not awarded due to the international outbreak of the Spanish Flu. This outbreak killed 50,000,000 to 100,000,000 million people. Municipalities, like the city of St. Louis, were able to limit fatalities and infections by doing what the major sports leagues are doing right now - limiting contact.