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NHL postpones season amid coronavirus outbreak

Scott Taetsch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The NHL has paused the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic but is hopeful to complete the season at some point, it announced Thursday.

"Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup," commissioner Gary Bettman said in the statement.

The league's announcement comes in the wake of the NBA's decision Wednesday night to suspend its season. MLB and MLS have also suspended operations since then.

Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the NBA's Utah Jazz have been diagnosed with the virus. Nobody in the NHL community has yet been diagnosed, but the league isn't taking any chances.

"Following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus - and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point - it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time," Bettman said.

The suspension means there will be no travel, no meetings, and no practices, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Both the AHL and CHL announced Thursday they will also postpone their seasons.

Additionally, the 2020 World Hockey Championship in Switzerland is likely to be canceled, IIHF president Rene Fasel told McKenzie. An official decision will reportedly be made Tuesday, though.

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