Following the NBA's decision to suspend the 2019-20 regular season Wednesday evening after a player, reportedly the Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert, tested positive for coronavirus, the NHL released a statement regarding its immediate future plans.
"The National Hockey League is aware of the NBA's decision (Wednesday) to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus," the statement read. "The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update (Thursday)."
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
The NHL Players' Association announced Wednesday night that it will discuss next steps with the league on Thursday.
NHLPA Statement: “We are in continuous contact with the NHL regarding the coronavirus and the recent announcement by the NBA. These discussions will continue tomorrow morning, and we will consult with players before commenting further.”
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) March 12, 2020
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman tweeted that the NHLPA will speak with its representatives.
NHL conference call tomorrow with the teams, NHLPA will canvas its executive committee.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 12, 2020
Earlier Wednesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced they will play all remaining home games without spectators after an order by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine prohibiting large mass gatherings in the state. The San Jose Sharks followed suit an hour later, announcing their three home games in March will be played without fans. The Sharks also have two home games scheduled in April; as of now, those games remain open to the public.
It should be noted that the Jazz played last week in three arenas that also house NHL teams: Madison Square Garden in New York (Knicks, Rangers), TD Garden in Boston (Celtics, Bruins) and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit (Pistons, Red Wings). They also played against the Raptors — who share a building with the Toronto Maple Leafs — in Utah on Monday.