The next professional sports domino has fallen.

The NHL announced Thursday it will pause the 2019-20 season due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, joining the NBA and Major League Soccer among North American professional leagues that have suspended operations.

The NHL said in a statement it is hopeful to complete the season and still hold the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL's announcement seemed likely Thursday morning after the league advised teams not to conduct their morning skates.

On-ice officials were told to book flights home earlier Thursday, per The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, while NHL teams on the road were preparing to head home as well, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

NHL teams have yet to test players for coronavirus, but two players on the NBA's Utah Jazz have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.

Many NHL teams share arenas with their NBA counterparts, including the Boston Bruins. The Celtics hosted the Jazz on Friday at TD Garden, where the Bruins hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning the following night.


The Bruins last played in Philadelphia, where they beat the Flyers 2-0 to earn their 100th point of the season. They currently own the NHL's best record at 44-14-12.