The NHL announced Thursday, after almost every other North American sports league had made their decisions, that it was putting its season on pause due to the coronavirus outbreak. While commissioner Gary Bettman did not lay out a timeline of events for the league, he did make it clear that one way or another, this season was going to get played out. In other words, hockey will pick up right where it left off sometime this year.
"I'm a little hesitant to use the word suspension, because our hope and our expectation is, when things get back to normal and it's safe and it's prudent, that we can go back and resume the season and ultimately have the Stanley Cup awarded," Bettman told CNBC Thursday.
The NHL regular season has only about 10 games left for each team before the playoffs, so this decision could be worse, logistically speaking. Bettman's goal is that some team wins the Stanley Cup this year, but he's taking this coronavirus situation as meticulously as others are trying to.
"It's going to evolve. We're looking at all contingencies, and when the circumstances are right that we can play, then we'll look at what we can do," he said.
The Mercury News reported Thursday that a worker for the San Jose Sharks' arena tested positive for coronavirus. Over 140,000 people have been infected with coronavirus worldwide since Friday afternoon. While over 70,000 have recovered, the disease has taken over 5,000 lives globally.