NHL suspends season due to coronavirus


We won’t be seeing cool goal celebrations like this anytime soon. AP Photo via Getty Images

As expected today, the NHL decided to suspend the season due to the Coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused every sports league to pause play including every major college basketball conference. Why the Big East allowed Creighton and St. John’s to play a half of basketball is mystifying.

Here’s some of the statements by the NHLPA and NHL regarding today’s announcement:

There really isn’t much to add. This day was coming. Once Rudy Gobert tested positive for the dangerous virus without a vaccine, the NBA didn’t wait. Gobert is a fool. With Utah recently at MSG for a game with the Knicks, he acted like it couldn’t happen to him due to being in the United States. He even touched all microphones and caused teammate Donovan Mitchell to also test positive. What a idiot.

Needless to say, the Knicks will be quarantined. They have no choice. As far as whether the NHL season is over, that hasn’t been confirmed. They could either decide to continue the remainder of the schedule in 30 days (assuming things return to normal) or go right to the playoffs.

If the postseason started right up which is an assumption at this point, the Rangers would miss by two points. They are 37-28-5 with 79 points and 31 regulation wins in 70 games following a 3-2 overtime loss at the Avalanche on Wednesday night. The Islanders wouldn’t make it either, missing by a point despite two games at hand on the Blue Jackets.

The top eight would be the Bruins, Caps, Lightning, Flyers, Pens, Leafs, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets. The match-ups would pit the Bruins versus the Jackets, Lightning vs Leafs in one bracket while the Caps would take on the Canes in a first round rematch with the Flyers and Pens doing battle.

Out West, it would be the Blues against the Predators with the Avalanche and Stars doing battle in one bracket. In the other, you’d have the Golden Knights vs the Jets while the Oilers and Flames would meet up in the Battle Of Alberta. That would be good.

Teams that would just miss would include the Canucks and Wild.

Your scoring leaders would be Leon Draisaitl with 110 points followed by Connor McDavid with 97 points and David Pastrnak and Artemi Panarin tied with 95 points. Nathan MacKinnon would finish fifth with 93.

Pastrnak and Alex Ovechkin would share the Rocket Richard with 48 goals each.

Your Calder three would likely be Cale Makar, Quinn Hughes and Dominik Kubalik although I believe Adam Fox should be up for it. Good rookies like Victor Olofsson, Nick Suzuki, Elvis Merzlikins, Mackenzie Blackwood, Ilya Samsonov and Igor Shesterkin would miss out.

The Hart would likely come down to Draisaitl, McDavid and Pastrnak even though I think Panarin merits consideration along with MacKinnon.

The Norris would be John Carlson’s to lose against Roman Josi and Victor Hedman.

The Vezina would likely include Tuukka Rask, Connor Hellebuyck and Andrei Vasilevskiy. No. Pavel Hasek Francouz wouldn’t make the cut. 😂

As for what will happen, nobody can predict. It will take some time for things to return to normal. Sports are officially on vacation.

Enjoy whatever it is you can do.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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