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NHL Suspends Season Amid Global Coronavirus Concerns

The NHL has suspended its season in response to the coronavirus crisis, the league announced Thursday.

The news comes just one day after the NBA announced its decision to suspend its season until further notice after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. MLB will also reportedly  announce a suspension of operations on Thursday. 

"After consulting with medical experts and converting a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-20 season, beginning with tonight's game," the NHL said in a statement.

NHL teams were advised not to hold morning skates, practice or team meetings on Thursday morning.

On Thursday, it was announced that a part-time San Jose Sharks employee tested positive for coronavirus. 

NHL league meetings, which were set to take place in Washington, D.C., the week of March 23, were postponed indefinitely. Commissioner Gary Bettman barred all employee travel outside of North America.

Earlier, the NHL had started taking precautions by joining the NBA, MLB and MLS in closing access to locker rooms and clubhouses to all nonessential personnel, including media.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs were initially scheduled to begin on April 8.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic on Wednesday. There are more than 127,000 confirmed cases of the virus globally, spread across at least 111 countries.