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In a statement from Commissioner Gary Bettman, he said, "In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight’s games. 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. We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. 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. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy."

NHL players can hit the ice together starting next week.

As the league pushes toward a restart after the COVID-19 shutdown, players will be able to participate in voluntary group workouts as teams can re-open facilities based on local regulations.

Players will be able to skate in groups of 6 at a time. Temperature checks, masks, and other precautions will be in place.
The NHL and the players association still need to work out details on health and safety protocols so that training camps and games can officially begin.

Katherine Viloria is Beasley Media Group's Fort Myers Digital Content Manager. She loves to write, snap photos, and watch Grey's Anatomy. Connect with her on Instagram @alittlethisalittlekat