The United States Hockey League has decided to cancel their 2019-20 season six days after postponing on March 12.
The decision was made today by the USHL Board of Directors for “best interest of USHL athletes, staff, officials and fans in mind.”
Any playoffs look to be canceled as well. USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity told USHL.com that “This decision was not an easy one to make, but was a necessity in order to keep our athletes, staffs and fans in all 16 of our communities safe amid this international health risk. While we believe our product is the best junior hockey that fans can view, we also understand the health of our athletes, employees, fans and communities is more important during this time.”
The press release did mention that “the USHL will announce the 2019-20 season awards in the coming weeks.”
Meanwhile, in Russia, the Kontinental Hockey League has suspended play during the Gagarin Cup playoffs because of the pandemic. The recommendation came from the Russian “Ministry of Sport and various regional authorities across Russia” according to the preface to an interview with KHL President Alexei Morozov on the league’s official website published today.
The decision came after the Mayor of Moscow placed “restrictions [on the number of people who could gather at one event.” Moscow clubs Dynamo and Spartak were in the middle of their playoff series and “still had one or two game[s] left to play.”
Since it was hard to comply with keeping fans, players, officials and staff safe while still being able to carry on the game with fans in the stands, they decided to pull the plug temporarily.
KHL team Jokerit of Helsinki, Finland had dropped out of the playoffs due to advice from the Finnish government and the Finnish Health Ministry. Barys of Kazakhstan will also not continue in the playoffs when/if things get going again.
Morozov said that there is a possibility that the season could be could not be finished. He said “the KHL will do everything possible to complete the season as soon as the risks to our players and supporters are gone.”
In addition to all of that, the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto is “closed effective Saturday, March 14, 2020.” It is scheduled to reopen April 6, “subject to further notice as management continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation via public health authorities.”