NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman did the right thing, and decided to pause the NHL season earlier this week, after an NBA player tested positive for the Coronavirus. As the two leagues share multiple buildings, it was the obvious choice to be more safe than sorry. After Bettman’s interview on Thursday, it sounds like business as usual is coming soon and the NHL season will resume eventually, instead of cancelling the season.
Bettman noted that no NHL player has tested positive for the Coronavirus and mentioned the following in an interview with CNBC:
The last couple of weeks, we, like everybody else, have been monitoring what’s been going on, and we went from dealing with things on a day-to-day basis to an hour-by-hour basis, and then it was in minutes. And we were constantly evolving our strategy as to how we were going to have our teams playing or not playing, or under what circumstances. We’ve sent everybody home, and we’ve asked them to self-quarantine for the time being, and we’re going to continue to monitor the evolution of the Coronavirus.
The Commissioner brought music to many of our ears, as he stressed in the interview, the NHL is only taking a pause and all likelihood won’t be cancelled:
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. My hope is that at some point we’ll get back to some normalcy, and that’s not just my hope for the NHL, and it’s not just my hope for all sports, it’s my hope for everything that’s going on.
Bettman also mentioned his senior staff are working on a new schedule and learning more about building availability. It appears, as of right now, the NHL season will be back as we know it, very soon!