(UPDATE: 9:57 a.m. ET): The NHL has advised teams not to take morning skates and practices Thursday, as well as team meetings, while the league determines its next steps.
Given the uncertainty regarding next steps regarding the coronavirus, Clubs are advised not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings today.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
ORIGINAL STORY: Some NHL teams already have committed to playing in empty arenas. A few international hockey leagues already have suspended their respective seasons. And even drastic changes, including the indefinite suspension of the NBA season, has swept across North American sports.
As for the NHL as a whole, we soon should know what the plan is.
Following the NBA’s announcement, the NHL released a statement essentially saying they still were monitoring things and that a more concrete decision would be made Thursday. It seems like anything could be on the table, from suspending the season to playing in empty arenas to stopping the regular season and just going to the playoffs. No one at this point really knows.
According to SportsNet’s Chris Johnston, things are continuing as normal, but folks are well aware that can change at the drop of a hat.
This morning there are players going to NHL rinks as part of their regular game-day routines — all the while knowing they're unlikely to play tonight. Strange times as they await an official decision.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 12, 2020
As for the timing of an actual announcement, it sounds like it will come this afternoon or evening, judging by this tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger and The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.
Board of Governors call with NHL leadership today, league wants only one person per team on the call. Said one NHL player to me regarding the possibility of suspending the season like the NBA did: “It's the right thing to do.'' But we'll see what the NHL decides later today… https://t.co/WaRwVmVzfm
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 12, 2020
This obviously is a decision the NHL doesn’t want to make a mistake with, especially since leagues around the world are making their choices out of an abundance of caution.
The Boston Bruins are scheduled to practice Thursday, then play a back to back this weekend, beginning with a game in Buffalo against the Sabres on Friday, followed by a home meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images