The New York Islanders will travel back home from Calgary as the 2019-20 NHL season has been officially suspended for the time being.
With leagues around North America shutting down, at least temporarily, it was clear that the NHL would follow the same path on Thursday. And at about 1:30 pm eastern time, New York Islanders fans and hockey fans around the globe found out that NHL would, in fact, pause the season.
Again, this was necessary to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus to fans, media, and the players and anyone they come into contact with.
So for the time being, the 2019-20 NHL season is on hold.
So what happens now?
According to the NHL’s official announcement, the season will be immediately put on hold. There will be no games tonight, such as the one scheduled between the New York Islanders and Calgary Flames. The Isles are already on a flight back home.
In the official press release, the NHL stated that they hoped to resume play when it is “appropriate and prudent” and to complete the 2019-20 season and to give out the Stanley Cup.
Based on the statement the NHL doesn’t plan on canceling the season for the moment. Obviously, this is a very fluid situation that can change at any time. But as things stand right now the NHL is hoping to start the season back up again at a later date.
How they plan on doing that wasn’t discussed, and frankly, that’s perfectly fine for the time being. The NHL’s first and foremost priority was that of public health. How the season gets sorted out will be figured out in the days, or weeks to come.
For now, the New York Islanders are on a plane heading back to New York to return home and wait this out. There will be no team meetings, there will be no practice. Everyone is to stay home until further notice.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.