Coronavirus: NHL aims to resume after pausing season

Omnisport

The NHL is aiming to resume after the coronavirus outbreak paused the 2019-20 season, according to league commissioner Gary Bettman.

Thursday saw the postponement of the NHL with immediate effect, following in the footsteps of the NBA and MLS in halting all matches in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus has disrupted sport across the globe after more than 5,000 deaths due to COVID-19 – almost 50 casualties in the United States and Canada.

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While the situation continues to change, Bettman insisted there is still time to complete the season. The regular season was originally scheduled to finish in April, with the Stanley Cup Finals concluding in June.

"We may have the benefit of time to complete the season and the playoffs in an appropriate manner, and there's no reason at this point in time to preclude any of our options, even though we don't know what they are yet," Bettman said on Friday.

Bettman added: "We're looking at every conceivable alternative. We're looking at the calendar. We're looking at what we think is and isn't doable in terms of a timeframe to continue to play.

"Obviously it's conceivable that we'll play beyond the time we were originally scheduled to conclude. How much longer we could do that is something we're trying to determine, and not just what the timing of all this might be. We also are considering what playing alternatives there are that fit within the window that may be left.

"And so it's a bit of a puzzle, and part of the problem is, we don't know what all the pieces are yet.

"So what we do is, we model every conceivable alternative, and as time passes, it may change the equation and we adapt them out. So it's not like we have a model today and that's the model we sit with. The model is changing every day."

"Unless the pandemic continues, God forbid, I envision a full, normalised '20-21 season," Bettman said. "I don't see any basis right now, subject to the one caveat I gave you, for any other view."

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