No refs, no games.
Apparently, both are true for the National Hockey League for the foreseeable future.
NHL referees and linesmen were given word to head home earlier today, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.
Hearing that on-ice officials who are on the road now to work NHL games have been told to book flights home ….
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 12, 2020
You can’t have games without officials. Now, word has leaked that, as expected, there will be no games.
The New York Post reports that the NHL will suspend the regular season due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Waiting for official announcement, but word is NHL planning for suspension/hiatus with hope to return. Obviously, no one knows how things could proceed at that time, but that is the goal.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 12, 2020
No word on potential plans,, including as to when – or if -play will resume. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports that the league is checking into rink scheduled, leading to the possibility of pushing games farther into the summer.
Hearing as part of the #NHL's due diligence process, teams have been asked to provide arena building availability through the end of July.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 12, 2020
The NHL’s Board of Governors are meeting this afternoon to finalize details. An official statement from the league is expected at 2pm; this story will be updated accordingly.
UPDATE: League has decided to “pause” the 2019-20 NHL season with goal to resume play “when appropriate and prudent.”