National Hockey League Joins NBA in Suspending Its Season

The NHL's decision comes less than 24 hours after the NBA decided to suspend its season after a player tested positive for the coronavirus.
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The National Hockey League said it would suspend play amid the coronavirus outbreak, less than a day after the NBA announced that it was suspending its season after a player tested positive for the infection.

There are three and a half weeks left in the NHL's regular season, but the games over that time period will have to be played at a later date. The league also has the option to cancel the rest of the games in the regular season, and even the playoffs. 

The NHL informed teams Thursday morning that they should consider canceling morning skates, practices and team meetings as authorities try to get a handle on the global pandemic that has crashed global markets around the world and led many sports leagues to suspend their seasons.

Many NHL franchises share an arena with the NBA, so the NBA's decision to suspend its season was seen as a harbinger for what could also happen to the NHL. 

There have only been two previous NHL seasons where the league did not award the championship Stanley Cup trophy: in 1918-1919 due to the Spanish flu, and 2004-2005 due to a labor dispute. 

Major League Soccer said it was suspending its season for 30 days on Thursday due to the coronavirus. 

The NCAA ordered its signature March Madness basketball tournament, set to begin next week, to take place without fan attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NCAA conference tournaments began this week, but the Big Ten, SEC and Big 12 all canceled their annual tournaments Thursday in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.