The NHL announcing it was pausing the season hardly was a surprise given what had transpired over the last day.

But in their release announcing the suspension, they seemed to try and make one thing very clear: They want this to just be a pause, not a cancellation.

“Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup,” league commissioner Gary Bettman said in the release making the announcement.

The other fascinating point in all of this was that Bettman essentially admitted the league initially wanted to continue playing, but that it went up in smoke when Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with COVID-19.

“The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures. However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus — and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point — it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”

There originally were 10 games scheduled for Thursday night, but those and the contests scheduled down the road, aren’t going to be happening anytime soon.

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