The NHL announced today that it has suspended the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) pandemic, effective immediately. All games currently scheduled, including tonight’s Dallas Stars matchup against the Florida Panthers, have been postponed until further notice.
The decision comes within 24 hours of the NBA announcing that it would suspend the 2019-20 NBA season indefinitely after learning that Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert had preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, 11 NHL teams share an arena with their NBA counterpart, including the Stars and the Dallas Mavericks, which no doubt play a significant part in the decision.
Originally, the NHL hoped that it would be able to complete the season without any interruptions, albeit with some precautions. In the past week, the NHL joined the NBA, MLB, and MLS in closing the players’ locker rooms to the media. In addition, the San Jose Sharks and the Columbus Blue Jackets were scheduled to play home games closed to the public due to state government mandates prohibiting large public gatherings.
In the end, however, the NHL and NHLPA came to the conclusion that continuing play amidst the COVID-19 pandemic would not be in the best interest and safety of all parties involved. Currently, the expectation is that the season will resume at a later date and will not be cancelled outright, but nothing is set in stone.
We here at Defending Big D will continue to provide updates on this unprecedented situation as soon as any details become available. We’re still going to be providing a space to come together as a Stars fan community. Even if that means debating whether Pilot Pete is the most immature Bachelor we’ve ever seen or reviewing every single question mark on the Witcher 3 maps.
During this time, we also want to stress the importance of being safe and putting your own health first and foremost. Practice good hygiene such as regularly washing your hands and avoid touching your face. If you are not feeling well or are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.
For more information on COVID-19 and what to do to prevent infection or what to do in the case of infection, please visit the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and/or the Public Health Agency of Canada website.