The KHL has gone home early for the 2019-20 season due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The league put out a press release on the news this past Wednesday.
The press release stated that the “KHL seriously considered a variety of options to complete the 2019-20 season, including playing out the championship at a later date in the year. However, it has been decided that this would cause too great of a disruption to the 2020-21 season.”
The KHL was in the middle of the second round of the Gagarin Cup playoffs at the time the season was officially ended. Two teams not located in Russia had withdrawn from the playoffs due to recommendations from their country’s health officials.
The press release also noted that final standings will be decided “at an upcoming KHL Board of Directors meeting. They will also make all necessary decisions relating to the 2020-21 championship. All the decisions will be communicated as soon as possible.”
KHL President Alexey Morozov had this to say: “It’s unfortunate that we have to finish the season early, and it wasn’t an easy decision. I’m sure that every fan, along with us, wanted to see the conclusion of the competition. However, the health of players and their loved ones, club employees, employees of the sports facilities, and, of course, the fans, is much more important.”
He also said that he hoped “that the current situation will not affect next season.”
There was no word on if the Gagarin Cup will be awarded based on overall standings or if it will just not be presented this season.
This was kind of inevitable, as the KHL season starts earlier and ends earlier then the NHL’s. It should be interesting if the NHL has to go this route due to the effect the postponing of the 2019-20 season would have on the 2020-21 season.