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Lightning Round: Hockey leagues cancel or suspend play due to COVID-19

Answering as many questions as we can.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Tampa Bay Lightning
Mar 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of Amalie Arena as today s NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers at Tampa Bay Lightning has been canceled do to the COVID-19 virus. NHL suspending play immediately due to virus.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday afternoon, the NHL announced that they have paused their league until further notice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league has not cancelled any games, only postponed them (you can see this on the NHL schedule pages) for a later date to be determined. How the league will plan to hold the events and fit the playoffs into a truncated schedule has yet to be determined. News is coming on what seems like an hourly basis, so we will try to keep you all updated on what is happening.

Once the NHL domino fell in the hockey world, seemingly all North American hockey leagues also cancelled or postponed their seasons and playoffs as well. That list includes the AHL, ECHL, USHL, OHL, WHL, QMJHL, CJHL, NCAA Frozen Four, IIHF Women’s World Championships, IIHF U18 Men’s World Championships, and SPHL. Linked below is a regularly updated list of these cancellations or postponements.

The NBA is planning to remain on the sidelines for at least 30 days. The NHL would be smart to follow suit here.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, Syracuse Crunch, and Orlando Solar Bear all released statements in conjunction with their respective leagues. There is nothing new in their statements, apart from some preliminary words about ticket refunds. Nothing official on that front, for those invested. Tickets for Solar Bears games will be honored when the tickets corresponding games are rescheduled.

For precedent, the Dallas Stars answered ticket-related questions in the article linked below. It explains the situation with regards to the ticket postponement policy and their game-adjacent events. It’s not guaranteed the Lightning will follow the same procedures, but it’s an example for those with similar questions.

Syracuse Crunch defenseman Cameron Gaunce is on the Professional Hockey Players Association Executive Committee. He spoke with Patrick Williams about what’s been going on. Highly recommend reading the full Twitter thread.

In terms of COVID-19 cases, here is what we know so far when it comes to players and personnel around the hockey world.

The Dallas Stars are trying to test Alexander Radulov for the virus but are having trouble getting test kits. They want to know how worried they should be regarding anyone he’s come in contact with.

A member of the San Jose Sharks organization (part time employees are part of the team, too) tested positive.

Sophie Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tested positive for COVID-19 after a trip to the UK last week. The first family is in isolation.

Ken King, former President and CEO of the Calgary Flames, died yesterday from his battle with cancer. THIS IS NOT A COVID-19 CASE.

Some good news. A research team at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Canada has isolated the strain of COVID-19 virus. This is a first (massive) step towards finding a vaccine (cure).

And lastly, a message from our editor: