Wednesday night, the NBA suspended their season following a positive COVID-19 test for one of their players. Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert was taken to a hospital in Oklahoma City after testing positive for the pandemic virus. The rest of his team, as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder were placed under quarantine while the NBA both cancelled the game and cancelled the rest of the season within half an hour of the news.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
Meanwhile, the NHL announced in a statement that they will release another statement in the morning after consulting with the owners and executive board of the NHL Players Association. The fate of Thursday’s games will be decided in the morning following some conference calls.
The NHL statement states there will be an update tomorrow. The NHLPA will issue a similar statement tonight. The NBA decision was swift and significant. The NHL and PA need more time to speak with owners, players and all involved. Thursday will be a significant day for the NHL.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 12, 2020
NHLPA will obviously be communicating with executive board members (player reps) tonight and over next 24 hours. Fluid situation. Lots going on.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 12, 2020
NHL conference call tomorrow with the teams, NHLPA will canvas its executive committee.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 12, 2020
There is currently speculation over what the league does with the rest of their season and the playoffs. The season ends so late that there’s little buffer time before the NHL Draft and Free Agency period in June and July. One theory by Darren Dreger of TSN is that the league does not redo any of the games for the rest of the regular season (standings determined by points percentage) and heads straight into the playoffs.
Darren Dreger on NBC Sports Network just said the NHL could suspend play Thursday, cancel the rest of the regular season and eventually resume with the playoffs. Meaning the Wild would finish one point out of the postseason. Crazy times.— Judd Zulgad (@jzulgad) March 12, 2020
Later in the night, the NBA’s G-League (their version of the AHL) also suspended play due to the coronavirus pandemic. The AHL does not have any games scheduled for Thursday, but they have 20 teams playing on Friday, including the Syracuse Crunch and six other teams in their division.
We will provide updates as soon as they come in as to whether there will be a game tonight. In the meantime, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and be kind to one another (without touching them).